If someone did something really good for you, wouldn’t you want to be with them and find ways to show your gratitude for their great kindness? Well that was the feeling of the man who through Jesus was delivered from his demons which haunted him throughout his life. But Jesus wasn’t interested in more disciples, he was interested in sharing the good news to all the people who needed to hear it. So Jesus challenges the newly healed man, “Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and what mercy he has shown you.” (Mark 5:19)
I think the same challenge is placed upon us as 21st century Christians. Go home and tell your friends and family about Jesus and what Jesus means to you! I have many good people in my congregation who for one reason or another are at worship on Sunday morning without other family members, including those who “live under the same roof.” I am not here to judge the reasons for their absence. But what I prayerfully hope is that in some way, those who do attend worship can go home and share the Good News that they heard.
At home, many of us are disconnected, even with those we most love and care about at home. We are in different rooms. We spend time on individual electronic devices. We eat and sleep at different times. Our loaded calendars can be overwhelming. But what if we deliberately chose to talk faith and life with each other? What if we chose to speak as freely of our Lord as we do the weather, our schedules, or the ball game scores? Perhaps you could help someone who less frequently attends worship to know that that hour is important to you and why. Maybe it is the first step toward invitation.
I think November allows us great opportunities to do so. November is a month of Thanksgiving. Share your personal Thanksgivings with one another! Let your friends and family know the mercy God has provided you. We also begin a new church year during November as we usher in Advent, a time to spiritually prepare for Christmas just as we get ready in so many other ways. Those of us who are parents and sponsors of baptized children, youth, and young adults have made the faithful promise to raise that young person in the faith at the time of their baptism. How are you living that promise out at home?
It probably won’t be easy to go home and tell about Jesus if you are not familiar with doing it. Take little steps. Share your story rather than tell the other what their story should be. Listen and don’t judge too harshly. Pray about it and know I will be praying for you. And I would love to hear how it goes!