There’s a tent outside our church. Did I miss something? Has a traveling evangelist come to town? Is May Circus Month here at Glenn?
And then I remember: graduation.
Of course. Ours is a shared space. Lots of folks—parents, grandparents, kin and friends—will descend upon campus Monday, and a lot of them will gather at some point in the Glenn Auditorium. That’s the Glenn Sanctuary to us, and while they might not name it, it will be a place of sanctuary for them, too. For a little while over the next few days, parents and graduates alike will wax nostalgic and dare to dream. Graduation is one of those moments when all that is past meets all that is yet to be. In my eyes, that’s a holy moment and worthy of the magnificence of our sanctuary.
Ours is a shared space. In fact, it’s the sharing that defines it. Our sanctuary becomes holy when we gather together in praise and thanksgiving. And this holy space becomes sanctuary when we welcome the next person who walks through the doors.
When was the last time you blessed this sanctuary by sharing it with someone you know? When was the last time you said, “Hey, good stuff happens at Glenn. Why don’t you join me?” Sharing what we’ve found—that’s called evangelism—and it is at the heart of this life we, well, share. And, at its best, evangelism comes down to three simple words, “Come and see.”
Look to the Gospel of John, and you’ll find the power of those words. Philip told Nathanael that he had found the one “whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, “Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth,” to which Nathanael famously replied, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Did Philip debate the point? No, he simply said, “Come and see.” Remember the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4)? Her invitation to her fellow villagers was hardly the stuff of altar calls: “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?” And amazing things happened.
An invitation in words simple and sincere is all that is required to share your faith. With your neighbors or co-workers or friends, share what you know; share what you’ve found. Then, once they decide to share some time with us, we have to be ready to welcome them with joy.
This shared space is holy space. Beauty? It’s shared here. Compassion—shared here. Truth is shared here; love is shared here.
Jesus the Christ is shared here. Life in all its joy, sorrow, and abundance is shared right here, every day, every week, all year round.
In Christ, Rev. Mark Westmoreland