When many of us think of an evangelist, we think of someone who has much more personality or knowledge of the Bible than us. An evangelist is a someone who has great faith, much more than ordinary folks like us. Or, at least, that is what we imagine. The truth is that evangelists are ordinary people who seek to do what God wants everyone to do. God wants us to share our faith with others so that they might find their own faith in Jesus. We tell others how faith shapes and informs our lives so that they can be open to the possibility of faith in their own life. It is like sharing the insider information for life. We go to those around us to find service providers, such as mechanics and hair dressers, so we do the same thing with something much more important.
St. Patrick’s Day is known for the joyous celebration of Irish heritage, green beer, and leprechauns. Yet, if we take the time to look up St. Patrick, we find someone who went from a wealthy family to being kidnapped. He was forced to be a slave in Ireland. While a slave, he heard God calling him to flee Ireland. Eventually, he went back to Ireland to share his faith with the people. The place of his enslavement was also the place where he reached out to others. Many accounts paint him as an ordinary person, although we don’t know much about him. We think that he probably died on March 17, so we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on that day.
We learn from him that no matter what our background, God can use us. We are all called to share our faith. God can use each one of us, but we have to open ourselves to God’s call on our lives. As we move through the season of Lent, I wonder what God is calling you to do. It may be that God is calling you to invite friends and family to worship with you on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. It can be about more than eggs and bunnies. It can be an opportunity to share faith. St. Patrick used ordinary items to share faith. What will you use?