Yesterday I prayerfully asked God to guide me in my response to Mark. I don’t generally consider myself an evangelist, yet I’m growing as an apologist. If I take some small liberty with the definitions, I could say that an Evangelist spreads the Good News and an apologist acknowledges the hypocrisy evidenced by our shortcomings, defending the truth of our faith in spite of ourselves.
I guess that means an Evangelist ignores the “yeah, buts…” and the Apologist doesn’t.
As a practicing Episcopalian (i.e. following the prescribed Lectionary), this morning’s Lessons spoke directly to our calling for Apologetics. From 1 Peter 3:15 “Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence.”
And from Acts, Paul told the Athenians regarding their worship of an unknown god: “The God who made the world and everything in it…” doesn’t need anything from us – he gave us life and breath and all things! He made all of the inhabitants of the earth, allotting the times of our existence and the boundaries of our lives so that we would search for Him and perhaps grope for him and find him. Yes, we search for him, though he is always near. We are God’s offspring and we shouldn’t think of him as a deity that can be formed from our imagination. He is calling us to repent! It is time to live our lives with a full appreciation of the Good News of Christ, his Son.
Matthew and Luke both challenged us in our faith to “ask, seek & knock”, bringing our requests to God. Yesterday’s prayer has been answered and will continue to be answered as I work to improve in my ability to apologize for my shortcomings and try to defend my faith.
I’m only sharing what I believe because I love you and I want you to know the joy and delight of sanctification through Christ and the Holy Spirit.
From today’s Psalm:
Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he has done for me.
I called out to him with my mouth, and his praise was on my tongue.
If I had found evil in my heart, the Lord would not have heard me;
But in truth God has heard me; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
Blessed be God, who has not rejected my prayer, nor withheld his love from me.