The Hidden Evangelist in You….
1 “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. 2 When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. 3 But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. 4 Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.Matthew 6:1-4 (NLT)
“941 Shun public display! May your life be known to God, for holiness passes unnoticed, even though it is most effective.
942 Try to ensure that people don’t notice when you lend a helping hand; try not to be praised or seen by anyone… so that, being hidden like salt, you may give flavour to your normal surroundings. And thus, as a result of your Christian outlook, you will be helping to give to everything about you a natural, loving and attractive tone.”(1)
These quotes from the Bible and from St. Escriva’s Forge may not seem to be about the mission of God, the work of evangelism that the church has been entrusted with, but, they are at the core of the life of evangelist, at the core of every believer’s call to be an apostle – to speak for God, to share the desire that God has, for prodigals to come home, to see beggars and hungry clothed and fed as we are baptized, as we commune with the feast that is simultaneously celebrating our sacramental homecoming, and the wedding supper of the Lamb that was slain to make the feast possible.
I will contend that being an evangelist is more about our lives lived in service to others, especially to those who do not know God’s love. It’s not about who can shout the loudest, or make the most intellectual points in a philosophical debate. It’s not done with a camera following you around, so it can be posted on YouTube. That’s not really evangelism, it is not a message focused on Christ’s love.
Evangelism is difference in substance, greatly different, even as almsgiving and prayer is different than those who make a show of it. Putting it bluntly, the greatest almsgiving is found in giving people what they need the most – and nothing is needed more than a relationship with God. We aren’t called to batter down walls and overwhelm minds, but we are called to be salt and light – things which change what exists by their existence. Evangelism in our lives is done as we bring our flavor to the area we are in, not dominating but simply revealing what is absolutely true. We are called to share… to encourage, to assist and be strength, all the very things God is for us. To realize God’s love to the depth where we realize that it is our life’s vocation to share it.. because of the great need. As we come alongside to help – the gospel is there as well, for Christ is there.
And that is why the evangelist may go unnoticed, why our left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing, because the action is so normal, so natural, so there…
And there, not drawing attention to ourselves, but serving others, reflecting God’s love, we will find joy in the midst of the mundane, or the traumatic..
It is being
(1)Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 3325-3329). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Posted on March 6, 2013, in Devotions and tagged Evangelism, life, natural church growth, sharing the faith, St. Josemaria Escriva. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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