After an eventful week, Rev. Shockley was inspired to speak on the subject of being evangelical. The word, evangelical, has received a bad reputation in today’s society. Let us not consider the word as it has come to be understood but as the dynamic and progressive presentation of the Good News of Jesus to a hurting world. The reading today is an example of a classical evangelical text.
It talks of Jesus calling the apostles to follow him. The reading begins with Jesus hearing of the arrest of John the Baptist for his activism against the regime ruling Galilee at the time. Jesus responds to this bad news by becoming evangelical. He began calling people – organizing people to the “cause”. We must ask the question – why was fishing for people such a compelling call that they would abandon everything to follow him? Fishing is a metaphor for everyday life, for what is expected of you. Becoming a fisherman was the expected occupation of every boy in that region. Jesus was calling them away from their conventional life – to do something different. Jesus want us to help, heal, and make a difference.
People are currently looking for what we have to offer – a new kind of religion. A way of worship that is caring, sharing, and compassionate. Many churches are experiencing a “Trump bump”. We are sharing the Good News with people who are ready to hear it. Unfortunately, it is not in our nature. We need to “get over ourselves”. Let us not call it evangelicalism but invitationalism. Rev. Shockley showed us what this might look like – his speech at the Women’s March.