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I have a good friend who is a Shakespearean scholar. After he had published a book on the Bard, he was interviewed by a newspaper. At the end of the interview, the journalist asked him, “Why do you like Shakespeare so much?” He answered: “If I could write just one poetic sentence like Shakespeare, I would consider my entire life an absolute success.”
I was in the seminary for 10 years. After, I went through some rigorous training in Scripture studies and classical languages. I would do it all again if I could bring just one person to Christ.
Then I read in the Gospel that a Samaritan woman goes into her village and they all become believers. The entire village! She is not a bishop, a priest, or a theologian. So how did she convert so many? Jesus gave her access to eternal life. She is a happy, enthusiastic customer.
A paralyzed man, whose life is a wreck, found himself in some guy’s living room Jesus was present. After a moment with the Lord, he stands up, goes home, and all the regrets of his past have been wiped away.
Not long after that, Jesus goes to a deserted place to spend some time with His disciples and five-thousand families show up. Where did they come from? They were probably inspired by the paralyzed man and a few other satisfied, enthusiastic customers.
Not long after that, Jesus got in a boat to go to the other side of the lake. There was a storm and the disciples feared for their lives. Jesus calmed the storm. However, when they arrive at the other side, a man possessed with a legion of demons approached them. Again the disciples feared for their lives. So Jesus sent the demons into the herd of swine and they all ran into the sea and drowned. The herdsmen of the swine, of course, were not happy because they just lost their employment. So they went into the village to tell everyone. The entire village arrived on the scene and ordered Jesus to leave them. As Jesus was getting back into the boat, the man, formerly possessed, wanted to join Him. Jesus, instead, told him to go home and tell them what God had done for him. That’s right; another happy customer. Not long after, Jesus returned across the sea, this time walking across instead of taking the boat. When He arrived, the people welcomed Him. They recognized him and became believers. These were the same people who kicked Him out. What happened? One person who was not a bishop or a theologian. All he did was tell the people what God had done for him.
You may be only one person and may not think you can have an effect on the world, but you can. God gave us access to eternal life. He wants to lift the burdens and regrets of our lives. Remember, God gave us a reason to be happy and enthusiastic. So go out there and make an impact.Back to All Homilies