I often hear people ask about how we can bring younger generations into the church…how we can reach out to those who might be skeptical of organized religion or who’ve been hurt by organized religion.  We’re called to share the good news of Jesus with the world, but how do we do that with people who are indifferent or even hostile to Christianity?  How do we share the good news with someone who’s seen the ugly side of the church?  Someone who’s been touched by sexual abuse and had their story swept under the rug…or the trans kid who doesn’t think the church will accept them because they’ve been told by the church that they’re an abomination…or the gay couple down the block who have been told by good, God-fearing Christians that they’re going to hell because of who they love…or people of color who’ve been told by a Christian community that their life doesn’t matter.  How do we share the good news of Jesus Christ with them?  I think we have to do it by how we live…by modeling the good news of Jesus Christ in every aspect of our daily lives…by making our life a testimony to the grace, mercy, and love of God.

No Sunday morning message has the power to change the world, but the message we preach with our lives does.  When we see people as “less than” or as the “other,” it’s easy to lose sight of their humanity and see something other than a human being, but when our lives model the life and message of Jesus Christ, we shine a light on God’s presence in them…we see the divine image in them, and we have an opportunity to honor it.  And when we do, our lives are transformed…and so is the world. 

We have the responsibility to love and care for our neighbors.  We have been entrusted with a gospel that can lead people into a relationship with Jesus Christ and transform lives…a relationship that isn’t constricted by cultural, gender, ethnic, political, economic, social, or geographical boundaries.  We have received the blessing of God’s grace and we are called to share that blessing with everyone we meet…and we do it by modeling the life of Jesus in everything we do.