I think I’m pretty good at getting other people to do things, or maybe I’m just so useless that other people give up and end up doing the jobs themselves, usually much better than me. I suppose the positive spin to put on it, is to say that I’m a facilitator, even a facilitator of rural mission and evangelism. After celebrating Holy Communion, I look at the friendly faces, fed with the sacrament and aglow with the Holy Spirit, getting ready to carry the light of faith out into the community.
I don’t know if they realise that they are being evangelists when they leave, that they are aware of the Christian message they communicate in their interactions. Here are just a few ways in which I think they are being quietly mission focused evangelists.
Our congregations are bound together in love and faith and that is the defining characteristic that they carry with them. Through acts of kindness, by demonstrating the teachings of Christ through action, by being the hands and feet that help the needy and comfort the distressed, they mirror the very essence of Jesus’ ministry. As our congregations flow out of the doors, they encounter the people of Nidderdale, understanding their struggles and joys, sharing in their daily lives, breaking down the walls of scepticism and sowing the seeds of faith. In the midst of life’s joys and challenges, our congregations embrace the wider community with open hearts.
The hills and rivers, sunsets and starlit nights can all serve as powerful reminders of God’s creation. In the quiet of the countryside, individuals can experience the presence of God in a special way. There’s a parallel between life in the fields and the spiritual journey, a golden opportunity to highlight that just as the land needs tending, so do our souls. Now the rhythm of the seasons is changing, Advent is approaching, winter, the darkest day. We are called to wait patiently for the Lord, the Light of the World. Our congregations carry that light within them, illuminating people’s lives with acts of kindness, compassion and love.