Monday, January 12, 2009

Call: To Evangelism

Looking ahead to this weeks assigned texts, I get an overwhelming sense of call. In the gospel reading there is a calling to evangelism. As a life long Lutheran there is something that makes me a little nervous when I hear the "E" word. Although, it is a little ironic since "Evangelical" is the "E" in ELCA.

It's an evangelism that seems almost fitting of a Midwestern, Scandinavian Lutheran like myself. First of all, with the way Philip approaches Nathanael I get the impression they know one another already. So it seems to me the first step in this form of evangelism is to talk to a friend. If for some reason you don't have friends I suppose the first step is to make a friend or two, but I somehow doubt that's the case for you.

Then, did you see the profound theological statement that Philip used? He said, "Come and See." So Philip didn't need any sort of eloquent explanation of why Nathanael should come to believe, but rather said, "Here take a look for yourself." Perhaps you might say something like, "Would you like to join me for worship on Sunday?" or "Would you like to join me when I go to activity x." Then you can let someone else do the talking, or even better let Jesus do the talking.

Although, you should probably also note the response of Nathanael. If I were to paraphrase I would say it was, "You're nuts!" So it's not going to be shocking if your friends don't just jump at your invitation. However, the seed has been planted and Jesus can work with that.

Now, I think that's the kind of evangelism I can get on board with... at least for now.

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