Presiding Bishop Katherine Schori invites us to stretch our muscles to make resurrection available to those who need it most around us. It is not an easy thing and we don’t want to because we are tired from all the labor of the day. However we have a moral and spiritual obligation to make the message of the Resurrection heard and lived. A Christian is always called to give life and make even the stones to speak.
I have been asked before what is my understanding of evangelization? This question often comes up in our adult Sunday School. Here is my thought about it.
When we are grateful to God for our daily life, and have learned to celebrate it in a way that makes sense to people around us, we become contextually evangelistic. Making sense to people around is extremely important as celebration of life taking into consideration where we are and what we do, and how our neighbors live and look like is the key to proclaiming the Good News.
Evangelization is not preaching. It is a lifestyle whereby people see mercy and justice personified in us. If what we preach and speak add 10% of evangelization, 90% comes from what we think and how we live in a given context. If I am not excited about being what I am, where I am and whom I am pleased with why should someone else jump into our depressed wagon?
In 2010 we made it a priority for us at All Saints’ that we will be contextually evangelistic, meaning we are going to share our excitement to those around us first, whether it is to the majority or minority. We proclaimed that it is time for us to claim the people of our neighborhoods as our brothers and sisters who need a place as much as we do to worship and belong. We decided that it is time for us to say we are not an elite church that only speaks the Elizabethan language and wears golden robes, but a church of the people of all kinds seeking God in all things. Everyone has a place here. Everyone has a ministry here.
Therefore I urge you brothers and sisters to stretch your spiritual muscles of love and compassion. With compassion and care attend to the needs of those within our congregation first whom you have come to know long before I arrived. Invite an un-churched and new person to your community of faith. There are plenty of people out there waiting to hear the Good News that we live by at All Saints’.
I guarantee you, we have problems of living together which proves my point that we are a family. I am sure you have problems and difficulties in your family. I do. But I won’t trade my family for anything. Rather I wish you were all born to my parents. I can assure you, take my word to the bank for a yield of 30, 60 or 100 fold we are one of the best in the world. I hope you will share the Good News. I hope you will stretch your muscles to give life.
(C) Fr. Jos Tharakan