Inform Your Face
This is a piece I wrote about 15 years ago at the behest of our rector. He challenged me to write an Evangelism article for our monthly newsletter. I struggled for weeks, writing, rewriting, trashing my draft, and then writing again.
Then, it hit me in a flash, and I dashed off this piece in a matter of minutes.
Inform Your Face You Are a Christian
In a recent sermon, Father Nutter told us the story of a preacher who asked his congregation if they are Christians? Of course, they all believed they were. Then Jim delivered the punch line: “If you are a Christian, will you please inform your face?”
The message, of course, is that those of us who are Christians sometimes forget that we have a mission to carry God’s love with us everywhere we go. We don’t always let the love of our Lord Jesus Christ show in our faces. We sometimes neglect to let others see our faces, and we sometimes neglect to look into the faces of those around us.
How many times in a day do we miss a perfect opportunity to help others come to know Jesus through the simple act of letting others see our faces? How many times on any given Sunday do we ignore the faces of those around us at our place of worship – – the very place where the Love of Christ should be transfiguring us and making us instruments in the spreading of His love?
Picture yourself attending a dinner party where no one spoke to you or welcomed you or paid attention to you, and you were left to wander about feeling alone and lost in the crowd. Would you throw a party at your house and treat a guest that way? What about at church? Would you treat a guest at our church that way?
Of course you wouldn’t. Not intentionally. But you might inadvertently treat a guest this way if, like the people in the story Jim shared, you forgot to inform your face that you are a member of a community whose mission is to know and to share the love of Jesus Christ.
Father Jim shared a picture with us that day of what Jesus’ face may have looked like. Our Evangelism Team challenges each and every one of you to ask yourself are you doing all you can to lift your face to others and to invite others to lift their faces to yours?
We challenge you not only to lift your face, but also to consciously seek out those in our midst who could use a cheerful smile, a warm welcome, a handshake, or friendly and helpful directions to the nursery, to the chapel or to the restroom. Wear your nametag so others can know your name. Do something really wacky one Sunday like positioning yourself at the patio entrance and shaking hands with every person who walks through the gate. Turn to someone you’ve never met and introduce yourself. Look each other in the eye and give a bit of Jesus’ love simply by dropping your mask and letting another person see in your face that you are a Christian and that you want to love your neighbor as yourself.
Try it; you might be surprised at the difference you make in someone’s life in the simple act of giving a bit of yourself by showing your face and looking for the face of Jesus in others. I believe it’s what Jesus would do.