We all love joy don’t we?
No not the 1980’s TV programme about a roguish antiques dealer starring Ian McShane.
It is not a word or a feeling we usually associate with evangelism.
More often it is words like fear, unconfident and uncomfortable.
Yet Jesus sends out the disciples in two’s in Luke 10 on mission into the field (which along with his instructions in Matthew 10 is a too often ignored guide to mission and evangelism principles) and they return with joy (v 17).
When he hears their reports he responds with joy (v 21).
In Luke 15 as Barbara Taylor Browne points out in her book The preaching life, a passage we tend to emphasise for the lost, Jesus actually emphasises us as the shepherd: “Suppose one of you has a 100 sheep….”. The focus in the lost sheep, coin and son(s) stories is on the rejoicing at the finding, the joy of finding something that is lost (v 6, 10, 25).
Do you know that joy of finding something that is lost?
Losing something that I (think I) know where it is, is one of the most frustrating things for me. So it is great feeling when I then find it. I had it today at work when I could not find a piece of paper I needed from months ago then found I had a copy of it attached to an email.
Do you know that feeling?
How much more so for us to be part of someone being lost to God who is then found.
I have had that privilege of being part of people who have taken a tiny step and also a life changing step to being found by God.
It is truly a joyful thing.
Do you know that joy?
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