“Nearly five hundred children come to our house every Halloween,” said Chas while we were eating with a group of men gathered for a spiritual retreat.. “I was in the midst of prayer when an idea came to me that I should do something different this year. Why couldn’t I give those children and their parents something to think about besides costumes and candy?”
“So, what did you do?” I asked.
“I dressed up like an evangelist and wore dress pants and a white shirt. Then I put a big Bible under my arm that everyone could see and hung a big sign around my neck that said: ‘Romans 10:9′”
He continued, “I said to each group of children at the door, ‘Greetings in the name of the Lord.’ I gave them candy and said, ‘Go in peace.’ I didn’t tell anyone what Romans 10:9 was but many of the children and parents were curious. I prayed they would be curious enough to look up the verse when they returned home.”
“So,” I asked. “What is Romans 10:9?”
Chas replied with a grin. “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
“Wow!” was the only word, that came to my mind.
As we continued eating, I listened to other stories of how each person found creative ways to talk about their faith in Jesus Christ. One was involved in a campground ministry that witnessed to underprivileged children. Another volunteered to help a family in need. Each person talked with enthusiasm about the opportunities to see lives changed.
One young man walked up to us during dinner and said to one of the others, “Thank you!”
After he left, one of the men explained with a smile, “He was just released from prison. When he found out about the retreat he called and asked for permission to come but he had no money and no way to get there.”
“So what did you do?” I asked.
“We paid his way and I sent someone to pick him up thinking that would be an opportunity to talk to him. But I found out later that he never got a chance to say much.”
He smiled and said, “That young man was so excited about his own encounter with Jesus that all the other man could do was listen. We thought we were helping him but in the end, he ended up sharing his faith with all of us.”
Once again, the only word that came out of my mouth, “Wow!”
I left the dinner table with my belly full of good food but more importantly my soul filled with fresh hope and a renewed spirit.
Do you wonder why, I chose to write about a group of men gathered around a dinner table when so many other events are occurring?
For example: Over the past week, Hurricane Sandy cut a path of destruction through several islands and our own East Coast. But, within days I also watched as people and churches raised millions of dollars and gathered volunteers by the thousands to provide desperately needed aid.
This week, our country will go to the voting booth, after months and years of political campaigning, vicious mudslinging and exaggerated promises from all sides each claiming that only they provide the answers and the leadership to fix our problems.
Important and serious news but sometimes we need a different perspective.
In the midst of everything that is swirling around us, passionate people of faith have quietly gone about the work of Jesus Christ impacting people in so many life-changing ways.
So, why am I writing about a few men sharing their faith around a dinner table?
Now it’s time for me to grin and say with passion, Romans 10:9: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Sometimes we just need a different perspective to be reminded about what is really important.