Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28F R O M T H E R E C T O R The Rev. Dr. Russell J. Levenson, Jr. who “wear the badge, but don’t live the life” and those who “live the life, but don’t wear the badge.” I would venture to say, we are called to do both. We are called to invite others to be part of this community of faith called Christianity. I would bet most of us here have in some way been vigorously invited to be part of some group or organization. Go to any restaurant and listen to the enthusiasm with which people speak about their favorite football team, television show, the latest movie or novel. Many unashamedly post loyalty to their favorite ball team on their car bumpers; and others to their favorite politician with yard signs. Why, when we have this kind of enthusiasm for things that are geared more toward day-to-day life, are we not as enthusiastic about sharing our faith when it comes to deeper life, richer life, even eternal life? I do think we should have that kind of enthusiasm. It takes courage, persistence and fortitude – a willingness to say, “I really want to help bring others to a place I know that their lives will be better.” So, you reach out, you care, you listen, you bring along. I’m not suggesting you begin to knock on strangers’ doors, hound your co-workers or pester your neighbors. You may be called to do that, but what I think Jesus is calling on you to do is just open your eyes, look around, listen with your heart to His prompting – and then with the same enthusiasm you may speak about the big one that got away, or the next Houston Rocket’s basketball game or the latest blockbuster film, just reach out as Christ would have you. Sometimes with words, “Would you like to join me for worship on Sunday?,” or “Bible study on Thursday?,” or “Can I tell you a bit about my faith?” Sometimes, perhaps more often than not, it is your actions that will draw others to Christ – your gentleness, your joy, your patience, your love. You’ve heard me say from our pulpit more than once, “You may be the only someone ever reads.” You can reach out and evangelize by being a person of integrity, humor, trustworthiness and peace. And when others are drawn, then the door is opened wider for you to share the source of those kinds of marvelous gifts. A small aside – a bit of a tangent here before I close – for you who are parents. Your kids are primarily going to take in the faith not from their friends, but from you. And if your commitment St. Martin’s is marginal, you can bet their commitment will be marginal; and when they are looking for answers in the troubled world in which they travel, if you have not told them about the stability and hope of the Christian faith and shown how very much that is a priority in your own home, then they will not have the resource to turn to in good times or bad. So, please, don’t forget, when it comes to your kids – if you don’t tell them, who will? So, that’s the “why” and the “how.” If you want a bit more direction, come see one of your Clergy, we’ll be glad to help you along. If you buy into this why and how, consider also what your personal evangelism to others will really mean. Louis Pasteur, the pioneer of immunology, lived at a time when thousands of people died each year of rabies. Pasteur had worked for years on a vaccine. Just as he was about to begin experimenting on himself, a nine-year-old, Joseph Meister, was bitten by a rabid dog. The boy’s mother begged Pasteur to experiment on her son. When he injected Joseph for 10 days, the boy lived. Decades later, of all the things Pasteur could have had etched on his gravestone, he asked for three words: Joseph Meister Lived. The greatest legacy each one of us could have would be to help others toward a path of life – life here and life eternal. The way to do that is to follow, to go, to make, to baptize, to teach – to make a difference, to tell the story again and again and again. And our story is so simple, a child like Charlie Brown could understand, “The Word became Flesh and lived among us,” which is another way of saying that God loved the world so much that He was born on it, lived on it, laughed, cried, slept, ate, and finally died on it. Three days later, He did for us what we could not do for ourselves. He defeated death forever.2 The story doesn’t end there. The story continues in each of us. Have courage; have hope. Tell the story any way you can. Because, if you don’t, who will? 2 Paraphrased from The Rev. Rich Webster, in The Dialogue, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Birmingham, Alabama, 25 December/1 January, 2006. 04 THE STAR I JANUARY 2017