This morning I had a cracking small team for our ‘Saints on the Street’ project. (St St) The three of us had a load of gifts with some good news to share… and we had great fun!
The concept of St St is a straight forward one: go to a public space and be amongst the vast majority of people who don’t attend a church service and show and tell something of the Christian faith. Today, being Mothering Sunday, was a perfect opportunity to bless mums!
I enjoyed the feedback from this morning. One lady commented that it was so good to see the ‘church’ amongst the community. Another wanted to talk about what we were doing and asked questions about whether she would be welcome to come along to any of the church activities. A few reached into their pockets to ‘make a donation’ on hearing the word ‘christian’ or ‘church’ and were blown away to discover that the gifts weren’t for a fundraising initiative or steeple fund. The thing that got me most about these gifts was the openness of those we gave them to, to listen to something of the good news. People really wanted to hear about why we were giving away boxes of chocolates! The explanation was helped by the very gifts themselves, they were grace gifts in themselves. A symbol of the most outrageously generous gift this cosmos has been graced with.
It felt like that blessing Paul writes in everyone of his epistles:
- ‘Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.’
The grace gift today of chocolates or flowers seemed to open up people’s hearts to talk further (sometimes just little snippets) about the christian faith, this felt like the sharing of peace, an imparting of something quite tangible that carried an encounter.
Something we always teach at The Light Project is the concept that the vechiel of the measage is as important as the measage itself. Let me explain what I mean: Have you ever seen someone preaching angrily about the good news? The goodness is somewhat lost by the means of the delivery.
However, giving gifts must never be misunderstood as an opportunity for bible-bashing people because people received a gift… Therefore they owe you a thorough preaching at!
The vechiel of the message can often stand alone as a symbol of the message but sometimes an explanation brings something new and connects with people in ways that a words only approach simply can’t. Grace opens hearts, and the gospel of peace is shared in a way that finds good soil.
I would love to hear of your ideas of how the means of the message and the message have worked hand in hand as you have sought to proclaim the gospel. Please leave a comment or two in the response below!