“Then He said to them, ‘Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.’” Matthew 4:19
“Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.” Acts 8:4
What is at the heart of Pope Francis’ decree to “Wake up the world”?…..Evangelism! But what does that mean? I submit that Evangelism is found not only in formal preaching but, more dynamically, in the common lay person – you and me – informally chatting with our friends, neighbors, strangers at home, in the grocery store, at work, on a walk. Everywhere, speaking enthusiastically about the good news, sincerely and with conviction…thus being taken seriously.
Evangelism, at its core, is nomadic. At its heartbeat is a community of scattered saints, men and women on the move, going forth to spread the net of the gospel into the waters where unbelievers swim.
Isn’t that the way it was “in the beginning,” when the apostles scattered to the four winds and every follower of Christ was viewed as being in full-time ministry; a time when each believer saw their workplace and neighborhood as their designated mission field? There is no greater service in life than becoming a fisher of men, but that can only happen by frequenting their waters.
Water is often used in scripture as a metaphor for the Holy Spirit. “He who believes in Me (as the Scripture has said) out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” And the Holy Spirit can and will use each of us as His personal suit of clothes through whom He can serve others. He can look through our eyes, hear through our ears, think with our mind, speak with our tongues, walk with our feet and, most of all, love through our hearts.
Next time you say a prayer, watch how Holy Spirit answers that prayer, more times than not, through another person. Someone says just the thing you need to hear, offers you a helping hand, or spontaneously shows up with the very thing that you need. When that happens, I like to point out to that person that they were just the instrument of the Holy Spirit in answering my prayer.
You don’t have to look further than you and me to see how God weaves His blessings in the world. That is why we are laity – so we can be in the world and change the world from within.
So…”Wake up, wake up, shine His light on a weary world!”