Flowing Streams (Zondervan) is a wonderful memoir by Stuart Briscoe, a gifted preacher. One of the stories that Stuart related was from the days when he and his wife, Jill, were living in Manchester (in their native Britain). One day he decided to venture into the local coffee house to engage some young people in conversations about God.
He opened a conversation with one young man who allowed him to share the gospel. When the man had to go, he told Stuart, "You don't believe a word of all this stuff you've been telling us about God."
Stuart said, "I was stunned but managed to stammer, 'Why would you say that?'"
He replied, "That's easy. Because all you have told us here tonight is so wonderful that if you and people like you really believed it, you would have been down here long before tonight to tell us kids about it."
As I read that, I wonder how often the students that we meet and talk with think the same thing. I ask myself if my life is a reflection of the reality of my own relationship with Jesus Christ. And, do we, as the resident parishioners, take the time to talk with our students about God as if we really believed in Him? Do we share our faith with them? Do the ways in which we live our lives and share them with others reveal that deep faith that we all have?
As we move through this political season, we will have many opportunities to express our faith and to engage each other and the community, as we try to sort out the issues, not only of the candidates for president and congress and local candidates but also of the all the ballot proposals. Those decisions must come from a solid foundation and trust in God’s Word.
I hope that all of you who are eligible have registered to vote. Take an active part in something that we have been deeply blessed with – our freedom to choose, according to our conscience. As Paul says in Galatians, it is not a freedom to gratify the flesh but to show love for one other. Our choices, then, should be based on the two great commandments that Jesus gave us.
“Love the Lord, Your God, with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind.”
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Let these words be your guide and pray for God’s wisdom and courage to live them and share them in all things and with all peoples.
Peace, Blessings, and Joy