... and speaking of evangelism, and what Dave Male was saying at our Presbytery/Synod meeting, indwelling the story.
Evangelism - sharing the good news of hope and grace revealed in Jesus.
Mission - God's love for the world shown in our words and actions.
These fundamentals of Christian living stem from our indwelling of the story of God. When we inhabit, live inside, the story of God, it becomes our story. So when we tell our story, which as humans, we naturally and necessarily do, we tell the story of God. When we live our story, we are living the story of God.
You might say, when we know ourselves to be loved by God, when we live inside and out of this love, we naturally show this love to others. Showing others the love of God, we show them God.
We need to know ourselves to be loved. We need to know the story. If what we want to be doing is loving, is telling people the story of God.
How do we know this story?
Where is it told?
It is told in the Bible, the Sacred Story that shapes Christian Spirituality. So immerse yourself in that story, get to know it, invite it deep into the heart of your being.
There are many ways to get to know the story held in the Bible, the story of God's unfolding love for creation.
Read the Bible. It is available in many versions and translations (including the well-known The Message in more everyday language, and a graphic novel version).
Hear the Bible. Go to church and hear it read aloud, experience it as story, living, embodied, communicated with emotion.
See the Bible. Search out art that interprets scenes and stories from the Bible (try Desmond Tutu's Children of God Storybook Bible with art from around the world). Visit churches that have stained glass windows and banners that depict scenes and stories from the Bible.
Taste the Bible. Holy Communion is the enacting of the hospitality, welcome, and self-giving love of God in Jesus. Go to church and come to the table.
Touch the Bible. Hold the hand of another pilgrim. Hug someone. Dip your hands in the water of the baptismal font. Pick up the Bible.
Sing the Bible. Go to church and sing together the songs of a community singing its story.
Pray the Bible. Begin with the Psalms, expressions of faith through the breadth of human experience.
Walk the Bible. Walk a labyrinth. Walk in a park or on the beach. As you walk, recite a phrase, a story.
Talk the Bible. Go to church and join a study group reading the Bible together. Wonder. Doubt. Ask questions. Explore. Engage. Enter the Bible's stories and invite them to enter your being. Let the stories enter your conversations with others. Not as conversation stoppers. Not as answers or definitive truth. As windows to discovery.
And if you or folk in your community would like help to shape spaces for engaging with the Bible, to read the Bible aloud with emotion and meaning, to tell your story - get in touch. That is what I do.