Sunday, April 12, 2015

On Microphones, Gazebos, and Living the Word~

Several years ago, I sat in the middle of a gazebo, which sits in the middle of a park, which sits in the middle of our small town. With a microphone positioned in front of me, I opened up the Word of God and read Psalms 78 through Psalms 82.

I was just one of many who had volunteered to give twenty minutes of their time reading from the Bible. It was the plan of those who organized this "read through the Bible" event, that by the time the National Day of Prayer rolled around later in that same week, the entire Bible would have been read and proclaimed in our city.

As I took my place in the gazebo, I listened to the instructions of one of the organizers of this week long, around the clock, event. "Speak loudly and boldly into that microphone. We want God's Word going out into our entire town."

And, so I did.
Loudly and boldly I read from the pages of God's Word.

And yet, only two people heard the sound of my voice:
the lady who had given the instructions, and me.

You might think I had volunteered for one of the shifts in the wee morning hours. Nope. Twelve o'clock noon. Right in the middle of the day. During lunch breaks and mid-day happenings. Only nothing was happening here at the park. No one had bothered to come hear "God's Word".

As I sat reading, I couldn't help thinking about a particular verse found a few books over from where I was reading.

 Always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have.
Large gazebo in the Kiseleff park
{Photo  Credit}
~ 1 Peter 3:15, NCV


Reading the entire Bible aloud and proclaiming God's Word boldly "over" our town. I understood the concept behind this long thought out, well organized, event. I understood the scripture they were basing this event on:


So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

~ Isaiah 55:11


And, I believe in this cause.
That is why I signed up to read from 12:00pm to 12:20pm.


And yet, we are told in the very pages of God's Word that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)



It is a noble and grand idea to want to proclaim God's Word "over" our city. But, in order for faith to take root, and lives to be changed, people must truly hear the Word of God. No one had taken the time or felt the need to come to the park to hear the Word of God read. During my twenty minutes of proclaiming, no one heard the proclamation.

But, later in the day, when a friend shared a concern with me, I was able to pray with her. I spoke words of scripture that went gently and tenderly from my mouth straight into her ear and into her heart and infused her with faith.

When a co-worker and I were working on a project, I was able to quote a scripture of encouragement, reminding us both, that with Christ, we can do all things. Our spirits were revived and our appreciation and love of the Lord deepened.

We are not going to win our world to Christ, sitting in the middle of a gazebo, that sits in the middle of a park, that sits in the middle of our town, boldly declaring the Word of God.

This is good. This has its place.

But...
hearts are best won, one on one.

Always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have.
~ 1 Peter 3:15, NCV

Our Christian lives, lived out each day through the power of the Holy Spirit living inside us, should create a hungering and thirsting in the hearts of others. As they observe our life and the way we live, they should notice something irresistible about us. Our love for God should draw them closer to discover a love of their own.

As we share our faith,
as we tell of the GOOD NEWS,
they, who have ears to ear and a heart that yearns to understand, will find God.

Am I saying we shouldn't have been reading God's Word aloud in our park that week? No.

Am I saying it is going to take much more than this to touch lives for Christ here in our community? Yes.

We are called to proclaim God's Word to the world around us. Sometimes, this might be done by sitting in the middle of the gazebo, in the middle of the day, in the middle of your town, boldly proclaiming the Word of God. Always, this should be done by living our life in a way that upholds God's Word and draws others to us in search of the hope in our heart.

Sometimes, we need a microphone.
Sometimes, a gazebo will work.
Always, we need to be living the Word.~






 
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1 comment:

  1. Loved this piece, Stacey. Sometimes it needs a cappuccino and that's how I spread God's love around! Meeting people, especially young mums, and chatting to them over a coffee - and sometimes a piece of cake!! I met a lady last week and was chatting to her, to find that her husband had been involved in an accident and had a brain injury - and my son had much the same when he was 15 - we are now in touch, and I hope to meet up with her again soon. If we are open, God provides the opportunities!! Maureen xxxx

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