Friday, December 6, 2013

Jesus sent them out two by two

Yesterday a friend and I met for lunch and, while walking back to my car, we met up with two  Mormon young men. They greeted us in a friendly manner and proceeded to engage us right there in the road.

Usually I try to just get away from these kind of situations, but with Margaret, things felt different.  She asked them where they were from and actually knew the exact small town in Alberta where one of them grew up. They talked about the school she taught at and where he went to school, and the other fellow told her where he came from. And didn't Margaret's brother-in-law come from that town in BC!  Common ground for sure.

Then we said that we had just gone to lunch together to catch up with each other's news and that our friendship was based on our pro-life convictions. One of the men asked "what's pro-life?"  I quickly replied"anti-abortion" because that seemed the simplest answer to make. And I said you must be pro-life too.  He cautiously agreed. I then asked him if he had heard of 40 Days for Life, which he hadn't.  So we proceeded to tell them that every fall, Christians pray on the public sidewalk for 40 days outside the hospital where over 1700 abortions are performed every year.

We could see the surprise in their faces; they had no idea.  We shared that it was difficult to do, as we were often met with hostility by the general public, something they could certainly relate to. We talked for a while longer and then shook hands and said farewell. 

It was rather surprising to realise how this encounter had taken a 180 degree turn from what we had anticipated. And it brought home the Scripture passage that gives us direction on how we should evangelize the culture.

After this the Lord appointed seventy two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves." - Luke 10: 1-3

Perhaps it is time for us Christians to follow the example of the Mormons and go out, two by two, to evangelize our society. We might even meet up with people, like these two young men, who share so much in common with us, but whose belief system has gone astray from the real Gospel.


Elena said...

I don't know if that model of evangelisation actually works that well. I think the model that you practised (relationship evangelisation) is far harder but much more effective because it is the way that God does things - He's in it for the long-haul.

Jenna said...

Ha! I read this yesterday and was just signing in to comment with something almost identical to Elena. Great minds think alike...

I was listening to the Huron Carol this morning and it moved me to tears, thinking of St. Jean de Brebeuf tirelessly working to befriend the Huron people, develop relationships with them, learn their language. It's such a stark contrast to so many purported efforts at the New Evangelization, that seem to think that technology and innovation are the key. The medium, perhaps, but not the message. And really, not the most reliable medium, because a screen may have the Gospel written out but a person living it does much more

Further, the groundwork for receiving the Gospel is better laid when it happens more organically than simply deliberately traipsing around a neighbour with tracts.

(Perhaps that sounds like I'm trying to assuage my conscience because I have never 'evangelized' that way, and likely never will. But I know at least those who touched me in my life, and showed me the face of Christ did so by their authentic love and willingness to be my friend without the SOLE agenda being to get me to love Jesus.)