Attendance over the night must have been more than 300 – most of whom were unknown to me. Our team was impressive – especially the enthusiastic help of people who are new to us.
My idea of evangelism
Evangelism is making people aware of the love of God as embodied in Jesus – making it personal. I know that many of our visitors were wondering about the event – Who is doing this? Why are they doing this? One of our helpers answered like this. “We are from the local church’, and to ‘Why we are doing this?’ the answer was because “We want families to have fun together in Glendowie’.
To my mind it the event was an offering – a gift to who ever wanted to receive it, a gift of goodwill and friendship, a gift with no strings attached. There were no gimmicks, no selling of products not even our religious brand. I thought it was a great example of ‘Reaching out and welcoming in.” When I looked at the diversity of the crowd I thought of the hymn, “They shall come from the east they shall come from the west and sit down in the kingdom of God”.
This is how I understand the working of the spirit of Jesus. Not clannish, not racial or not sectarian but welcoming to all, to the newest baby and the oldest grandparent. I know that some who attended could not speak English but this didn’t hinder them from getting the message. Here was a spirit of generous inclusion. I believe this is the spirit of Jesus.
In our Centre, at some times our lounge is the place where this spirit is also present. I have seen so many just wander in. At first they are hesitant and guarded. They suspect we are going to sell them something or sign them up. As they get to know this is not on our mind they relax, and yes, even feel at home. It makes my heart sing.
Jesus asked disciples to love each other. When this happened he said, others would notice that something surprising was emerging. He also taught them that they were to care for others across national barriers and geographic boundaries, across age groups and societal divisions. He came to create something quite new in human society that would be a sign of hope. I sometimes sense that this is what is happening within us and through us. And I think this year’s ‘Trick the Light’ was an expression of this. I find it exciting.