I will tell of your name to my brothers and sisters.
How are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him?
Not too long ago a friend in the photo club of which I am a member asked me a question that stumped me. He asked, “What do you do when people don’t pay?” He was referring to the fact that I am a pastor of a large church with a major program and good-sized budget. He was wondering, I think, about how the finances work. I stumbled out an answer about free-will offerings and the support of God’s people. But I missed the opportunity to tell about Jesus…at least for a few weeks.
It was perhaps two months later, at the same restaurant which we frequent after our club meetings, that I said to my friend, “You asked me a question a while back that I didn’t know how to answer about people who don’t pay. I’ve been thinking about that for some time, and I remembered the story of Jesus watching people put money in the temple treasurery. Rich people put in large sums of money, and a poor widow put in two pennies. Jesus said that she gave more than all the others.”
I left it there, letting the story of Jesus do its work, hoping for more questions. But the conversation took a crazy Ivan to rich celebrities giving large amounts of money for show, and other red herrings. I’m not certain how much got across to my friend. But I do know that Jesus had some context in our conversation.
Telling God’s story is more difficult if your understanding of that task is all about reciting a story in mid-air, rather than bringing Jesus’ story to a particular context. What story of Jesus might you tell that fits a particular context? I am praying for more opportunities to tell of Jesus, and for the opportunity to see that story take root in my friend’s life. How might Jesus’ story make an eternal difference in the life of someone you know?