Don't be afraid to proclaim

By Jessica Connor

As a newspaper, the core mission of the Advocate is one of proclamation.

Here in these pages, we spread the news about the good works of United Methodist men and women throughout the state, about the churches they pastor or worship in, about the mysterious and beautiful workings of the Holy Spirit moving among all the peoples of this great world. It s a marvelous thing.

With every edition, we proclaim the good news through the articles and photographs you see in our pages. It s our business to shine the light of Christ in this state, to share the wonderful stories of ministry and mission in our quest to make disciples. Communication is our ministry, and we have a zeal to fulfill it.

Our tiny staff of two is blessed “ on a daily basis we get the chance to hear about someone, somewhere, doing something special in the Lord s name.

Given this, it s somewhat of a shock when we talk with people reluctant to share those stories. They cite fear of pridefulness: The good works they are doing are not about them or their church, but about God, and they don t want to accidentally lift themselves up by telling their story.

Please don t use my name, they beg. Or, I d rather not talk about it. We want God to get the credit, not us.

But how will anyone know about God s great workings through our churches if we don t share our stories? In sharing our stories, our ideas, what works for us, we are effectively spreading the Good News. And perhaps we are inspiring others to do the same.

Throughout Scripture, we are urged to spread the word, to lift up what God has done for the world: Sing the praises of the Lord, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done (Psalm 9:11).

In Luke 4:43, Jesus told the disciples, I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.

We re called to proclaim. The more we can share our stories, the more we can lift up the works of the Lord through us, the stronger the Kingdom.

Can you imagine if the birth of the Christ child were told in a whisper? If the shepherds never went back after seeing the baby Jesus, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen? If Jesus never spoke the words, I am the way and the truth and the life ?

After all, as His disciples, we are His instruments. We are His hands and feet in the world. Telling people about good works we participate in isn t about us at all “ it s about Him. Merry Christmas.

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