October 2006 - Vol. 1
Ezekiel's Call and Ours
by Mercy Potter
[Mercy and Hugh with their four children are members of Antioch Community, London, UK]
Do you ever feel intimidated at the prospect of telling others about the good news of Jesus Christ? It's not uncommon to meet resistance or at least indifference when you speak to others about the Gospel. A quote from the prophet Ezekiel gave me a helpful insight.
Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to a nation of rebels, who have rebelled against me; they and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day. The people also are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them; and you shall say to them, ĎThus says the Lord God.í And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that there has been a prophet among them. And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you sit upon scorpions; be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house.... But you, son of man, hear what I say to you; be not rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth, and eat what I give you (Ezk. 2).Strong words, these. But I think that many Christians, as weíve tried to tell others about the Lord, can resonate with them. The resistance just seems to be part of our society these days. In speaking with the evangelism staff and students involved in Koinonia, an evangelistic outreach to university students here in London (UK), I have come to see that itís particularly tough going for them, as they speak to their fellow students.
In reading this passage over the past few months, I have had a growing conviction that all disciples of Christ, I in my suburban neighbourhood and at the school gate, Christians on campus, and you, wherever you find yourself, must not be afraid, but like Ezekiel must stand up and proclaim the kingdom of God.
When I was at university, I was very much like the people described in Ezekiel. I was set on going my own way, heedless of Godís ways or his plan ó in a word, stubborn ó to my own great harm. But then I came across fellow students from University Christian Outreach who werenít put off by my resistance to God.
They kept speaking his truth to me in love and showed me his love in their actions. Because of them, I got a new start. I received the power of the Holy Spirit and began to focus less on myself and more and more on bringing his life to others.
Iím glad that people were there back then, so that we could hear Godís word, and Iím glad that people in Koinonia today keep at the often unpopular task of telling their fellow students about Jesus Christ.