This week’s readings in our journey through the Gospel of John for the Good Book Club present several episodes where Jesus interacts with strangers, and doing so, gives insight into his person and mission.
In a period of undeniable decline among American churches — in the Episcopal Church this can only be described as precipitous decline — everyone in every form of ministry needs to answer directly and unambiguously how their work supports bringing people to Jesus Christ.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ has not stood still across the centuries, and neither have the Lindisfarne Gospels. When the monk penned Old English words on this gorgeous manuscript, his community was in exile, chased from their ancient home by Danish invaders. After the Norman invasion in 1066, monastic life in England grew quickly. A new priory was established on the tiny island, and the monks of Lindisfarne came home, bringing their Gospels with them. The English church would revolve around the life of monasteries like Lindisfarne for the next half millennium, counting on them to spread the good news to the English people.
Evangelism isn’t about pamphlets and theories and door-to-door sales pitches. Instead, it’s living life from a place of profound joy and letting that joy be definitive and overflowing. For us Christians, that joy is given to us by the grace of our Savior Jesus Christ. To share it, we don’t need pamphlets and marketing strategies. We simply need the joy that comes with the story and living our lives defined by that joy.