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Sermon Notes
June 25, 2023

Rev. Kevin J. McLemore

Over the years, I’ve often thought about why we Christians are so often reluctant to share our faith with others, to do what Jesus asks us in the whole of chapter 10 of Matthew, which is to go forward and tell that story, the story of the Gospel and how it has affected our lives, in a positive way. I think the one main reasons we are so hesitant to do so, to share, is because of how others have often shared their stories of faith with us.  We have sometimes balked at the way we were told that their experience of Christ had to become our experience, that their story had to become our story—or else, the often-unspoken spiritual threat went – surely, if it wasn’t their experience of Jesus it certainly wasn’t a real experience of Jesus. We feared we might be perceived the way those type of folks are often perceived by us—authentic and well-meaning, surely, but also too dogmatic, too self-assured, too rigid and unyielding, and lacking the humility that needs to be present when people talk of the divine on this side of eternity.  We often fear telling our story of faith because of the way others have told their stories and so we are silenced by that fear. If we allow others who tell their stories of Christian faith very differently than we do, if we allow that fear that we might be perceived by others like we perceive and experience them, a fear that stopped us from telling our own stories of the Gospel, then we too would have been stopped from doing what we are called to do in this world.  William Sloane Coffin, in his book The Courage to Love, wrote that "Fear distorts truth, not by exaggerating the ills of the world . . . but by underestimating our ability to deal with them . . . while love seeks truth, fear seeks safety." (60)


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