In the year that King Uzziah died…


Sermon for Trinity Sunday 2021


“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty…”

That is how the prophet Isaiah begins telling the story of his wondrous vision of God and God’s heavenly throne room. In the year that King Uzziah died. Those words have been rattling around in my head all week. I want to just jump into talking about what Isaiah saw and what it might mean, but for some reason the part of this text that keeps jumping out at me this week and getting stuck in my brain is the first line: In the year that King Uzziah died. Uzziah is kind of a fun name to say. Who was Uzziah? Well, Uzziah was a king of the Southern kingdom of Judah, back when there were two kingdoms of Hebrews. 

One of the fun things about the Bible, is that sometimes you will read details in scripture and they will seem completely meaningless, and then other times you will read those exact same words again and all of a sudden they will contain a major clue to the meaning of the whole passage. “In the year that King Uzziah died” is one of those passages for me. The first few times I read it, I just saw it as a more or less meaningless date marker: like “in the year 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” I just thought Isaiah was pointing to a significant event to set his story in time, and it does that, but it also does so much more if you take a closer look at who Uzziah was and then reflect on why his death might actually be an important detail in the story Isaiah is trying to tell. You see, you have to be careful when you are dismissing details in scripture as being unimportant. Somebody thought they were important enough to write down, back when the written word really meant something and writings were really sacred, so don’t be too quick to dismiss minor details…like King Uzziah. 

Here’s what you should know about King Uzziah: in the first place he was king over Judah for over 50 years. That’s a long time now, it was an especially long time back then. There would have been plenty of people living that would have never known another king, most people actually. Uzziah would have been a sign of stability and security. When your country loses that great symbol of continuity and strength and power, well that is bound to be upsetting. But here is the other thing you need to know about Uzziah: he started off as a good king. He was capable and successful and faithful, but, as often happens, his success led to his downfall. He got a little full of himself and decided that he should be the one to go into God’s temple and burn the incense and not God’s priests as the Lord had ordained. He tried that once and while the censer was still in his hand, his skin burst out with leprosy. You have to tread lightly around God’s throne; it’s a lesson that Uzziah learned the hard way. 

So while the nation is mourning the death of this great king, who was just a little too full of himself, that is when Isaiah has this powerful vision. And what is his vision? A throne! In the year that the great king dies, Isaiah sees a throne, a throne high and lofty, and this throne isn’t empty. The great king Uzziah might be dead, but that doesn’t matter, because the only throne that really matters isn’t empty at all. Human thrones can be vacant, but God’s throne is always occupied. And God’s throne isn’t occupied by the sort of petty tyrants we get on this earth. Even our best, most noble and greatest rulers can’t compare with this majestic king, the very hem of whose garment seems to fill the whole temple. And more than that, Isaiah sees creatures that are almost impossible to describe or fathom, seraphs will all sorts of wings that fly around singing this song of praise which ought to sound familiar to you, since we sing it ourselves every week: “holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

Isaiah knows that he’s not worthy to be there or to see these sights, he says I am unclean and I have unclean lips. And then one of the seraphs purifies his lips with a live coal. The voice of the Lord says: “whom shall I send?” And Isaiah replies, send me. And God gives Isaiah a message: he says “go and say this: keep listening, but do not comprehend; keep looking but do not understand.” God goes on to say to Isaiah that he doesn’t want people to think that they have figured everything thing out on their own; he wants them to turn and be healed. Keep listening, keep looking. Do not comprehend; do not understand; turn and be healed. 

Isaiah cannot comprehend this Lord sitting upon the heavenly throne; he can’t fully understand him. But he can worship him. He can join his voice with the voices of those seraphs proclaiming God’s greatness and majesty. Isaiah can be cleansed by this God; Isaiah can turn and be healed. That is what this glorious Lord wants Isaiah to understand. That is why God sends Isaiah out to share this vision with the world. We worship a God who reveals himself to us. We have a king that now and then gives us a glimpse of the kingdom, not so that we can strut around all arrogant and proud thinking that we have figured things out, but so that we can actually fall down before the true king and lord of life who has the power to heal us, and who wants to live in relationship with us. Isaiah didn’t volunteer to tell the world about God because he had figured God out. Isaiah was so moved by God’s glory and mercy that he felt compelled to tell the world about a vision of the Lord that was beyond comprehension. In the year that King Uzziah died, what Isaiah witnessed was a king, but a king unlike Uzziah. Earthly kings come and go. Earthly kings don’t have half the power and might that they think they have. But the true king is eternal, almighty, glorious beyond all comprehension, and most important: merciful. 

I’m sure that when Isaiah told people about what he had seen, that some people immediately sat down and tried to figure out how the hem of the Lord’s garment could fill the whole temple, or they might have tried to figure out how exactly those seraphs were flying around with wings over here, and wings over there, and no doubt some people would have gotten so caught up in figuring out exactly what Isaiah saw, that they might have missed the fact that Isaiah was healed. His sin was blotted out. It is so typical of us humans, we get so caught up in our own understanding and our own pride, that we miss God’s grace when it is being held out to us, simply because we don’t understand it. But what if we could push our understanding off to the side for a bit and just said: I’m not going to try to figure things out for a minute. I’m just going to simply worship, love and adore. What would that look like?

Well it might look like how we are going to end our service today. This morning we are going to end mass with a solemn te deum. I don’t think it is something that we have done, at least not during my time here, but it is a very ancient Christian prayer or song that glorifies God and testifies to how we have witnessed God’s glory. Most of you know that today is Trinity Sunday, a day of infamy every year when preachers across the world dive headlong into heresy by trying to oversimplify and explain the very essence of who we believe God is. But the Holy Trinity is not a doctrine that we are meant to truly understand, anymore than Isaiah was meant to understand the vision he had. It is a revelation. It is a revelation of who God is. It isn’t something that we sat down and came up with one day; it is a testimony to the God that we have witnessed in the world. We have witnessed God as the great creator and king seated upon the throne, as Isaiah saw; we have seen the fullness of God in God’s only son, Jesus Christ; and we have experienced the power of that same God through the Holy Spirit. What has been revealed to us is that these three are all in fact the same God, reaching out to us and offering us grace and forgiveness. In each one of those persons of the Trinity, God offers us grace. That’s what really matters. We could sit around beating our heads trying to figure God out, or we could just fall down and worship and accept the grace that has been offered to us. That’s what a te deum is all about: simply giving thanks to God for the wonders that we have been shown, for the grace that we have been given. 

The goose doesn’t give up.


Sermon for Pentecost Sunday 2021


Jesus said “when the spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.” 

I don’t think I want that. Jesus is talking about the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is supposed to be the comforter, no? But truth isn’t always comforting. Truth can be disturbing as hell. Sometimes the truth hurts. Delusions, now they are comforting. Self-righteousness is comforting. Self-confidence is comforting. Fantasy, that is comforting. But truth can be anything BUT comforting. Truth is disturbing. As Jack Nicholson said in a Few Good Men: You can’t handle the truth. And sometimes we can’t, or at least, we don’t want to.

But when Jesus is talking about the Holy Spirit, he calls it the spirit of truth, and this spirit of truth is not only going to testify to Jesus and the things he did and said, but this spirit will also declare to us things that are to come. But Jesus also calls this spirit the advocate. Our advocate. A force that is on our side. The spirit is there to help us, even when we don’t want it to.

Saint Paul says that the spirit helps us in our weakness; that the spirit intercedes for us. But I think we sometimes have a very sanitized view of what God’s help looks like. We want God to gently nudge us in the right direction. But if we are to believe the witness of scripture and the witness of tradition, then we are bound to realize that while sometimes God or God’s spirit can be subtle and gentle, sometimes, many times, the spirit is decidedly less so. Sometimes God can be very heavy handed in getting his message across. Think about Saint Paul getting blinded and knocked off his donkey on the road to Damascus. Or think about the Spirit of the Lord snatching Philip away after he baptized the Ethiopian eunuch. Or think about the passage you just heard, with the spirit of the Lord bursting into the upper room like the sound of a violent wind, and compelling the disciples to do something which they were all terrified to do: to preach the good news; to talk about Jesus. The Holy Spirit led them into truth all right, and I’ll bet that it was terrifying. 

There is an ancient song of the church called veni sancte spiritus, “come holy spirit,” we sing it at ordinations: come Holy spirit, from heaven shine down. Well you have got to be careful what you ask for, because God just might do it. God just might send you the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you, only it may not look like those sweet little doves we have in our stained glass windows. God’s fire may not look like the little flickering flame of your soy scented vanilla candle. God’s fire may come at you like a bonfire or a wildfire: something you don’t have control over. Something that compels you to go places you would rather not go.

There was this viral video that was shared online earlier this year of a woman getting attacked in a parking lot by a mad goose.

It was a security camera video, and you see that the goose chases her one way, then the goose chases her another way, the goose flies at her head and several times she tries to swing her handbag at the goose to scare it away, but oh no, the goose isn’t having it. Finally, the woman’s rescuer shows up in a car, and the woman drops her handbag and jumps into the passenger side door, only the goose flies right into the car after her continuing his ruthless attack. It’s hysterical. But one of my priest friends shared the video and she commented: hey look, it’s me and the Holy Ghost. And I thought: YES! That is perfect. We are forevermore painting the Holy Spirit as a white dove, based upon the passage from scripture where the Holy Spirit descends upon Jesus at his baptism like a dove, but the Holy Spirit hasn’t always been that subtle and that sweet in my life. The Holy Spirit isn’t all that gentle in scripture either. Sometimes the Holy Spirit has been more like that goose: relentlessly chasing me, pecking at me, ignoring my feeble attempts to push it away, making me go places I don’t want to go, and basically scaring the hell out of me in the process. You need to be careful when you ask for God’s Holy Spirit to come down on you or to guide you. Because sometimes God has to apply a little pressure to lead us into truth. Truth is a scary place. Truth can be uncomfortable and if given the choice, I probably would rather live in a fantasy land of delusions and dove kites rather than have to deal with the real holy spirit. 

When you are confirmed in the church, one of the things the bishop prays for when he lays hands on you, is for God to send you his Holy Spirit, and there used to be this tradition of giving the confirmand a little slap on the face right then. It dates back to the middle ages and was symbolic of the need for the mature Christian to face and stand up to the adversity or the “blows” of the world. It has military symbolism like a new knight being tapped by his king on the shoulder with a sword. It isn’t always done anymore, although I was slapped at my confirmation and some of you were probably slapped at yours. But that slap doesn’t really hurt. When the bishop slaps you, that is a tap on the cheek. When the holy spirit actually slaps you, that is another thing entirely. 

Because while the Holy Spirit can be comforting and encouraging, the Holy Spirit can nudge you, God knows that his beloved human beings are also sinful, stubborn creatures, and that we would just as soon sit comfortable in our fantasies and delusions than actually be led by the spirit of truth. Now I don’t want to contradict that great Ferlin Husky song that says “On the wings of a snow white dove, God sends his pure sweet love.” God may indeed send down his love on the wings of a dove, but God’s love might also come in the form of a mad goose too, chasing us in directions we don’t really want to go and biting us in the backside alone the way. Do y’all really think that those disciples on Pentecost Sunday really wanted to be out in the streets preaching to all those foreigners? Of course not. I imagine that they were perfectly fine, just gathered together in one place with like-minded people that looked like them and talked like them. But the Holy Spirit wasn’t having any of that. The Holy Spirit had to push them out into the world. It chased them out there and said “go and talk to these people. I will be with you. I will help you, but you have to open your mouth.” 

And yeah, people sneered at them and made fun of them, but so what? People will find a reason to make fun of you, no matter what you do. If they can’t find a reason they will make one up. You can spend your entire life trying to be comfortable and safe, but it won’t necessarily make you happy, or popular, or successful; that is like imagining that you can get healthier by avoiding exercise. The Holy Spirit’s mission is to testify to Jesus and to guide us into truth. That is how the Holy Spirit advocates for us; that is how the Holy Spirit helps us. Only sometimes the spirit has to push us pretty hard to get us to cooperate. But thank God it does. I give thanks to God for those times when the Spirit is not subtle, when God seems to come at you like a violent wind or a mad goose. We need to thank God, for not giving up on us the first time we swing our handbag to shoo his spirit away. Because if the Holy Spirit hadn’t pushed those disciples out of that upper room and into the street to proclaim the Good News to every nation, would we know anything about Jesus and the love God has for us?

Our only mediator and advocate


Sermon for Ascension Thursday May 13th, 2021


I spend a lot of time giving lawyers grief from the pulpit, so I figured I should probably take a moment and show them a little love for a change. They aren’t all bad you know. In fact, as I said a few weeks ago, if you find yourself in trouble, you want a good lawyer on your side. They are there to help you get out of the mess that you have gotten yourself into. They are your advocate. In French the word for lawyer, avocat, makes this very clear. It’s also the exact same word for avocado though, so you do need to be careful. There is something very powerful, very special about being an advocate for someone else. Anyone can plead for themselves, or advocate for themselves, but to intercede on someone else’s behalf, well there is something special about that act. It is an act of love. And likewise, to have someone intercede for you or advocate for you, that is a special feeling, it is like feeling loved. 

So if we push the jokes aside for just a moment; if we stop thinking of lawyers as just those people that make everyone’s lives more difficult, and think of them instead as advocates, then we may begin to see how God could have a use for them. In fact, when lawyers are living into their calling as advocates, it is in those moments, however rare they may be, it is in those moments that lawyers are almost as good as priests. Because advocating for others or interceding for others is a fundamental part of a priest’s job too. It is just a different judge that we stand before to make our plea.

One of my jobs as a priest, one of the most important parts of my job, is intercessory prayer: holding before God the needs, and fears and hopes of this congregation and this community. Now other than the little bit you witness on Sunday mornings, it is a part of my job that most people don’t see. But it isn’t like an optional extra part of the job that I do if I get around to it, or if I have time after sorting everything else out, it is the job. Praying for, or advocating for God’s people is a main part of the job of being a priest. You wouldn’t hire a lawyer who’s afraid of talking to a judge; you shouldn’t hire a priest that’s afraid of talking to God. 

Now imagine, if you can, imagine having a really good priest. I don’t mean some poor slob that you pay to mumble incoherently in the front of the church from time to time. Imagine that you have a priest that not only knows your name, but also knows your greatest fears, your weaknesses, your loves, your struggles. Imagine a priest that knows all your sins and still forgives you. Imagine a priest, who like a good lawyer, knows you are guilty, and still asks the judge to let you off. Imagine a priest who is never impatient and never incompetent, who never gets tired. Imagine a priest who is praying for things for you that you never asked for. Imagine a priest who’s entire life is one of constant prayer and intercession and advocacy, and now imagine that this priest isn’t just praying in a pew, or in an office, or in an armchair, but is actually praying and pleading for you in the very presence of God. 

What if this priest actually held up to God your broken aching body, or even your broken heart, and pleaded for you before God? 

We don’t have to imagine having this priest. This is the priest we have. Today is the Feast of the Ascension, our feast of title as a parish, and the day when we remember Jesus, our great high priest, ascending into heaven, entering into the very presence of God. Jesus isn’t flying into a cloud to escape from his disciples, he isn’t going on vacation. He’s going to work. Jesus is entering into God’s throne room to be an eternal advocate for his people; to constantly intercede for them in ways that no earthly priest could ever do. 

Jesus doesn’t leave us today. He takes our case to God. Jesus goes to the father to plead our case and when he goes, he goes in the flesh. Our flesh. He doesn’t leave his body behind like some empty vessel, he carries it to God too. The disciples rejoiced when Jesus ascended to the father, they rejoiced, because now they knew they had an advocate with the father, standing right before the throne. The author of the book of Hebrews writes: 

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,[a] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Basically, the author of Hebrews is saying that with Jesus on our side we can walk into the courtroom like we have the best lawyer in the place. We can approach God’s throne of grace with confidence. And not just confidence, but thankfulness, because unlike most lawyers, Jesus isn’t going to send you a bill when it’s all over. As the old hymn goes…Jesus paid it all.

We have an advocate in heaven. Jesus, our great high priest, our only mediator and advocate; that is why we can rejoice today. That is why the disciples rejoiced. Long ago we humans got ourselves into trouble, the evidence of that is all around us. But the Son of God has come to get us out of it. God’s only son is advocating for us, he is doing it directly before the throne of God, and he is doing it in the very human flesh that his mother gave him. That is what the Ascension is really about; not flying off into clouds and heaven over our heads. The Feast of the Ascension is about recognizing Jesus’s eternal role as our advocate in God’s holy realm. That is reason to rejoice.

So we give praise to God tonight for our Lord’s ascension, and we also remember that advocating for others is a part of our Christian duty. It is imitating the behaviour of Christ himself. You don’t need to be a lawyer or a priest to do this. Part of our belief in the priesthood of all believers is that we all, as Christians, have a calling to intercede for, and advocate for, others. Not just before the powers and principalities of this world, but also before the throne of God. We are called, day in and day out, to be people who intercede for the world; who pray for the needs and concerns of others. That is a part of our job as Christians, not just those of us who do this for a living, but all of us. We are all called, in big ways and in small ways, to be advocates. 

And we can do this with boldness as Christians. You can’t always trust the lawyers and the priests in this world, sometimes they are crooked, they might overcharge you and they don’t always win; but we can have supreme faith and confidence in our advocate in heaven. Why? Because we know something else. We know that when that gavel comes down and the verdict and the sentence are read out, we know that when that day comes, the man that has spent his life advocating for us and pleading our case at his own great expense, we know that that man, Jesus, isn’t just going to be our advocate, he’s also going to be the judge. 

One Job


Sermon for May 2nd, 2021


My favorite story in the entire Book of Acts is the one we get this morning: Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch. It is such a brief little passage, and it is such a brief encounter between Philip, one of the first deacons of the church, and this unnamed Ethiopian, but I could spend days talking about it because there is just so much going on here. There are so many implications that can be drawn from this passage for how we, as disciples of Jesus, should be evangelizing and proclaiming the good news to the world; how we should be sharing the faith with all people and baptizing them into the body of Christ. We could draw all sorts of conclusions from this passage about what we as Christians need to be doing to grow the church, but I want to point you in a different direction first this morning. I want to draw your attention to something else. First, I want you to pay attention this morning to what God is doing to grow his church. 

Take a closer look at that passage from Acts. It was an angel of the Lord that said to Philip “go down this road.” And when Philip had gone down the road that the angel had told him to go down, the Spirit of the Lord told him to “go over to this chariot and join it.” And after Philip and the Eunuch have their encounter, and the Eunuch is baptized, it is the Spirit of the Lord that snatches Philip away and sends him off to preach somewhere else. You know, it’s almost like God has something to do with this! Like maybe God has his thumb on the scale with helping the Church out.

It was God who told Philip to go down this road. It was God who told Philip to go and talk to this person. And eventually it is God that tells Philip that it is time to move on and preach to other people. God is directing the action here. Yes, Philip has a role to play. Philip needs to be obedient to God. Philip needs to go where the angel or the spirit direct him to go, and Philip needs to have the courage to speak when it is time for him to speak, but I doubt that Philip woke up that morning with a grand plan to evangelize the Ethiopians. This encounter was a part of God’s plan, not Philip’s. Philip wouldn’t have imagined it. God is directing Philip here and Philip’s success comes directly from his ability and willingness to listen to God. 

Philip wasn’t a biblical scholar. There is no evidence here to suggest that he was rich, or that he was a charismatic speaker; we don’t know what he looked like: if he was handsome or charming…we don’t know any of that. What we know is that God said go, and Philip went. Philip didn’t have all the answers, but there was one thing that he had supreme confidence in, and that was that Jesus was the messiah. As far as Philip was concerned that is the only answer that matters. Philip doesn’t have all the answers, but he knows who does…Jesus. Jesus doesn’t just have the answers; he is the answer. Philip knows that Jesus is the answer, not just to the Eunuch’s question about scripture, but to all of the Eunuch’s questions; all of his struggles and pains and hopes; Philip knows that the answer to all of that is the man who died and rose again. The man who forgives sins and defeats death. Philip knows that Jesus can change this man’s life. Philip knows that Jesus can give him a new life, a life that is about more than just guarding other people’s riches; a life where you aren’t forced into slavery and mutilated along the way. Philip doesn’t have much power to help this man, but he knows that Jesus has unending power. So Philip, as a follower of Jesus, has one job. One Job. And unlike all those other people in the world that have one job and can’t seem to do it, Philip does his job. Philip’s job, Philip’s one job, is to connect people to Jesus. That’s it. Philip’s one job in his encounter with the Eunuch is to connect him to Christ, and he does his job. And you’ll notice that the moment Philip does his job, God moves him on and basically says, OK, I’ll take it from here. 

And the Eunuch goes his way rejoicing and Philip is moved by the spirit off to preach the gospel somewhere else. All Philip needed to do was to point this man to Jesus. Philip needed to connect him to Jesus; once that relationship was made, the Eunuch is going to get his nourishment and sustenance from Jesus. Jesus will answer his questions.

You know, Episcopalians are notoriously bad at evangelism, or sharing our faith, and I think that one of the reasons why, is because we are afraid that someone might ask us a question that we don’t know the answer to. What does this scripture mean? Why do you cross yourself here? Why do some Christians do this and some Christians do that? We don’t want someone to ask us a question that we don’t have the answer to, so we avoid the situation by not talking about our faith at all. 

But we don’t have to have all the answers. We don’t have to know every scripture by heart or know every answer to every question about our faith, as long as we know that the ultimate answer, to all of it, is Jesus. We just have to connect people to Jesus. That is our job. He will help them find the answers. He is the answer. Our problem is not lacking knowledge, it is lacking courage. Lacking courage to go when God says go and to speak when God says speak. We get so caught up in our plans and in our strategies for growth and in trying to figure out how we are going to grow the church and draw in new members and attract new families, and on and on and on, and we forget that God is playing an active role in all this, and God may not care one bit about your plans. Listen to God; go where he sends you, share your faith with those you meet along the way, and most importantly, connect people to Jesus! Do not forget that God has his thumb on the scale and he is trying to help us, we just have to be willing to listen and to know that even if we don’t have all the answers, we know the one who does. 

Over the past two thousand years, some of the most brilliant minds in history have written some deep, powerful, mystical, complicated stuff about Christianity, and Christian theology, and scriptural interpretation. The reality of God and the mystery of what Christ did on the cross and the implications of his resurrection, all these things are probably far more profound than what you learned in Sunday School as a kid. The Christian faith is not a simple religion and I am not at all in favor of dumbing it down. I think we still need to use our greatest minds to grapple with the truths that God has revealed to us, just like we always have. But you don’t need a Master’s degree to start your Christian journey. You shouldn’t have to have a diploma in theology or scripture to become a baptized part of the body of Christ. As far as I am concerned, if you can come to me and in good faith make the responses in our prayer book that are a part of the baptismal service, if you can reject Satan and the evil forces of this world and if you can affirm to follow Jesus Christ as your Lord and saviour and if you can affirm a belief in the Church’s faith as the creed states it (even if you don’t completely understand every word just yet), well as far as I am concerned, that’s good enough, let’s find some water and get you baptized. We don’t need to make joining Christ’s body needlessly hard for people. Now following Jesus, that is a life-long endeavor. And I would expect that if you are a sincere follower of Jesus that prayer, and serious study, and scripture reading, and acts of charity and mercy will feature prominently in your life, but God didn’t wait for us to love him before he loved us. If we are waiting for people to become expert Christians before we encourage them to join the fold, then our churches are going to be very empty indeed. God is already at work in people’s lives, leading and directing them to his son long before they figure it out and respond. God wanted that Eunuch in his church, that is why he leaned on Philip and tipped the scales to make that encounter happen. God wants people in his church and we can either facilitate that process or we can be a barrier to it. 

You don’t need a master’s degree to become a baptized Christian, and guess what, you don’t need a master’s degree to become an evangelist either. You don’t need every answer to every question about theology and scripture. You just need the conviction that Jesus is the answer and the conviction that he wants people that are outside the church to be inside it. Don’t worry about knowing what to do or what to say. The truth is, it may not be your job to bring someone to the beatific vision of the heavenly throne. It may not be your job to bring them to a complete understanding of God and Holy Scripture. Your job might be just a momentary encounter with someone, planting a seed, redirecting someone, setting them down a path, telling them that I think the answer is this way, this is where I found God, this is who the messiah is. That may be all that God wants you to do. You have to trust that God has a hand in this too. 

What do you need to make a new Christian? What you need is some clean water and a person with a desire to follow Jesus. That is what you need. That is when you graft a new shoot onto the vine that will give them life. What do you need to be an evangelist? You need faith that Jesus is the answer and you need the courage to listen to the Holy Spirit. That’s it. 

Friends, we as the church, are all called to be evangelists, not all in exactly the same way, but every one of us is called to connect and direct other people to Jesus Christ. We, the church, have one job to do, and we had better get busy doing it.