As its the first Sunday I have not preached for a very long time there could be a danger of a sermon coming on!
I had a most unexpected pair of callers yesterday. In Essex we had frequent visitors from various churches trying to bring us into the fold. No excuse, such as my personal commitment to the C of E was accepted. One lot came back over and over again. Had I not been a committed Christian this might well have turned me in the opposite direction.
They came mob handed and were very insistent. I listened to one lot several times before I told them that I objected to to people on my doorstep trying to sell me Jesus as though it was a new brand of soap powder.
The two old men looked me up and down and then one of them said,
"Time of the month dearie?"
They had the sense to move off fairly smartly then....it could have got nasty.
Afterwards I phoned their chapel and asked the pastor if I could be taken off their visiting list. He said he would try but he could make no promises!
Here in Cornwall I live in almost splendid isolation. There is only one other house that is lived in for quite a long way so when I opened the door to two pleasant women yesterday I was surprised when one of them said, "We are calling on all the houses in the district today" She thrust a leaflet into my hands and said. "Take that as your personal invitation to come and find Jesus."
They second lady nudged her. She had noticed my dog collar.
There was a certain amount of nervous laughter....and I accepted the leaflet with thanks.
As they moved off one of them said to the other. "Well how was I to know it was a vicar!" The cross on my gate might have been a clue.
Anyway full marks for being adventurous. And they were both pleasant ladies. No one could have taken exception to them but I did point out that the invitation was for a Sunday and that I worked on Sundays.
I have never been an evangelical...the thought of going out to accost a stranger to pass on the word of God does not come easily to me and yet I know that without the first Christians doing just that the church would never have happened.
I suppose its the approach. My testimony to Christ is by smiling at people, never judging them and always being helpful. Hopefully this is my way of converting people to possibly being sufficiently interested and coming to church to see for them selves. They can see for themselves that being a Christian makes me happy. And so possibly might do the same for them. It has worked in a few cases.