Tell the story that brings joy
Posted in Joy
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
(Matthew 28: 19-20) -AND- “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
With these words, Jesus gave to His church, for all time, His order to proclaim the gospel for the salvation of humankind, and PC-USA has recorded this order in our Book of Order as the first of the Great Ends of the Church. In turn, Eastminster has recorded this order in our Statement of Mission in the words, “Called together by God’s grace, we the members of Eastminster Presbyterian Church belong to our Lord Jesus Christ and to each other. Empowered by God’s Spirit, we bind ourselves together by Proclaiming the Gospel of Christ for all the world….”
We love to tell the story (the good news of Jesus and his love) – because some have never heard. And, you know, when a person responds to the story, there is joy – joy in that person, joy in Christian friends, and joy in the presence of the angels of God. (“In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10)
Can you believe that some have never heard? Let me mention a few examples:
- There are people in Haiti, Taiwan, Republic of the Congo, Washington, DC (Muslim community), Philippines, and Bolivia, all where EPC has missionaries telling the story. And there is joy.
- Sometimes people who have never heard the story (perhaps more accurately never paid attention to it) come to Eastminster, not to hear the story, but for some other reason, like the baptism of a friend’s child or a funeral. And they hear the story and have an opportunity to respond. And there is joy.
- We invite friends and neighbors to church on any Sunday. And they hear the story from our pulpit and have an opportunity to respond. And there is joy.
- We invite people to Alpha and they hear the story and realize who Jesus really is and respond. And there is joy.
- We baptize our children, and teach them, and lead them through Sunday School, Youth Ministry, and confirmation class. They hear the story and have an opportunity to respond. And there is joy.
PRAYER: God of grace and glory, thank you for making us in your image and allowing us, through Jesus, to call you Father. Help us to use the gifts you have given to us individually so that we, Eastminster Church, might together become an orchestra of grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Submitted by Leland Williams