Today’s scripture selection: Romans 9-10
Key verses: Romans 10:14-15
If the apostle Paul had been a Southern Baptist preacher, he might have been tempted to say he had a “burden on his heart.” He was worried – about those who needed to hear a word of grace and hope. He was more than concerned about those who mistakenly thought they could “work” their way into heaven – instead of receiving eternal life as God’s gift through Christ. He knew these beloved children of God needed to hear some good news – but he also knew they couldn’t hear that news unless someone was willing to take it to them. So he wrote,
“How then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
He was committed to the task then of bringing that word of hope to any and everyone who would listen to it.
Two thousand years later, those of us who call ourselves followers of the Way, must find our own way to do that as well. I am disturbed by how many church congregations I see who are so willing to sit back and wait for the world to come to them on Sunday morning; often only on their terms. “Put on your Sunday best and come worship with us at 11:00 a.m. and we have something to share with you.”
Historically, that’s just not how the gospel spread around the world. But it’s par for the course in today’s world.
So I invite you – if you are a follower of the Way – find your voice. Find your own unique opportunities to be those who bring the good news to a very troubled world.
As I have often told my congregation, I’m not much on “bible tracts” that scare people to death or try to shame them into heaven. But I am all for reaching out to people with a simple, sincere, Christian witness, soundly grounded in God’s love and grace.
How can “they” believe if they first don’t hear? And how can they hear if we don’t share the message? As they say in the rooms of A.A. – “thanks for sharing.”
Prayer: Lord, give me courage. Lead me where you will, to share your loving hope with someone who needs to hear and experience it. AMEN.