One Friday evening a few weeks ago, my husband and I decided to set out some lounge chairs in our driveway and let our neighbors know we would be out there with drinks and snacks. I raided my fridge and found some chips and salsa, carrots and hummus, a tiny wedge of cheese, and some leftover M&Ms.
Soon we had a little crowd in front of our house, and we talked for the next few hours. We talked about what’s going on in the world, about parenting, marriage, family traditions, faith—and lighter topics too. There was laughter and community, and much opportunity to lift up Jesus. He weaves into every topic and is relevant to nearly every conversation.
The next weekend we did the same thing, and gathered another great group, sharing meaningful and bonding conversations. One of the families in that group has started coming to church with us every week. Seeing faith and a relationship with God growing in their family is wonderful!
This isn’t big news, by any means, but it is also how the world is changed. I am convinced of two things:
Jesus encourages Christians to be the light of the world, and goes on to say: “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”1
I used to think that something had to be pretty significant in order to “glorify my Father,” but I don’t think that anymore. I think small acts and interactions carried out in our daily lives are a big way of letting our light shine and bringing others to Jesus.
In the past years, my focus has switched from thinking that Maybe one day I will do mission work again to thinking that my mission field is right outside my door. It’s people who know Jesus and people who don’t. It’s people who like Jesus and people who are angry with Him.
It’s using my gifts, whatever they may be, to welcome people into community. My gift is hospitality. I’m good at opening my home. I don’t mean fancy events or an always perfect home, but welcoming people into my family’s craziness and helping create a moment to share each other’s joys and struggles. So I do that.
Your gifts might be quite different. I don’t know what opportunity you have to lift up Jesus, but I’m sure the opportunity is there. Embrace the mission field right around you, and see what God will do.
1. Matthew 5:16 NIV