Almost Christmas

November 23, 2008

Running through Orchard Road at night reminds me that Christmas is coming.  The twinkly lights and Christmas sales.  It’s a festive time for most.  All the more so if you are Christian.  Then it’s also a season for Christmas carols and evangelistic musicals.

A couple of weeks ago, someone in chuch shared about some evangelistic video that was made with the intention of engaging non-Christians in discussions about God.  I had mixed feelings about it.  Now, I agree wholeheartedly with evangelism and I’ve thrown more than my fair share of outreach events.  But I’m starting to really wonder about the wisdom of holing people up in room on the pretext of giving them food and drink and then forcing them to watch some video about some dude they don’t know who apparently loves them enough to die for them.  I’m all for different media platforms as a good way to start spiritual conversations but frankly, if my friends needed a video at Christmas to feel comfortable to talk to me about God, I’m doing a pretty shitty job as a Christian.

(By the way, I was asked recently what I pray for when I pray for my non-Christian friends.  My friend was surprised at the answer.  “You mean you don’t pray that their souls are saved from eternal damnation?”  No, I don’t.  My prayers are fairly pedestrian.  I pray that I’ll be a good friend, that God will be able to use me to love them, that I will be a blessing to them somehow and that through me, they will understand a little more about this God I claim to serve.)

All this made me think about my evangelism style – hopelessly flawed as I’m sure it is.  I think it comes down to this:  My life.  The Jesus video.  24h a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  Too much of me.  Too little of God.  Too much angst.  Too much swearing.  Too much ranting.  Too much self-centredness.  Too much sin.  But a lot of grace and a lot of love.  Too many mistakes but always redemption.  Too many flaws but always transformation.  Sometimes fleeting but nevertheless always hope in uncertainty, calm in chaos, strength in weakness and peace in strife.  A work-in-progress, dynamic and real.  Tragically imperfect but this is what all that Bible goobledegook looks like real-time, raw, uncut, unedited.  Watch that.

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