Have you ever had that dream where you are back in high school and about to take an exam for which you didn’t study? Or, have you ever tossed and turned because you dreamed about stepping up to a podium to make a presentation for which you were completely unprepared? We may pride ourselves on being prepared for whatever responsibilities we’re assigned, but these all too common dreams disturb us and reveal the fear of inadequacy lurking in our brains.
Many, even those of us born or grafted into an evangelistic tradition, find that sharing our faith in Christ can be a scary assignment. Maybe we feel unprepared to communicate what we believe and why. Perhaps we think we need a certain vocabulary or personality that feels awkward or unfamiliar to us. Our reticence to speak of faith keeps us from wonderful conversations with people who wonder why we don’t.
Paul, one of the earliest and most well-known proclaimers of Christ’s gospel, doesn’t walk into Thessalonica with a “turn or burn” sticker on his donkey. Instead he enters the synagogue, as was his custom (v. 2), and holds a lively Bible study there for three sabbaths. Paul argues the Scriptures, explaining and proving the message of Jesus’ death and resurrection. The point of Paul’s argument is not to start a fight, but to proclaim the Christ he has experienced. Within his familiar setting and language, Paul shares what he now knows to be true.
Beginning with familiar verses of Scripture, Paul proclaims God’s ongoing story, one we are also witnesses of and participants in. Because those ancient words are living ones, their truth grows in every age. When the wisdom in Scripture speaks to our experience, the words we need to share will come to us afresh.
Choose a word, phrase, or sentence from today’s text to reflect on throughout the day. Tell someone about what you experience.
God, teach me your ways, that I may naturally share your good news. Amen.