I brought this post to the top of my site because I mentioned it in my message Sunday morning. Be sure you follow the link at the end of my essay.
Do you know who Janice Meredith Wilson is? You should. Let me get on my soapbox here for a minute and then I will introduce her to you.
The guest list for lecturers at the National Cathedral in Washington D. C. is heavily weighted toward an odd amalgam of men and women, writers and preachers, educators and media persons who almost always speak with robust confidence about questionable things. The same people treat with detached skepticism the simple, straightforward claims of the Bible. In other words, the people who speak at the National Cathedral are often sure of things that Christians have historically been doubtful about and doubtful about things that have historically defined Christianity.
I know I’m speaking in direct tones here, but I would not recommend that you surf onto their site and start watching lectures unless you have a strong stomach and a stalwart faith. None of us have enough time on our hands to watch people talk on and on about what they DON’T believe, no matter how sophisticated, popular, elite, educated, or well-spoken they are.
But there have been a few exceptions. On December 6, 2005 the powers that be at the National Cathedral invited Janice Meredith Wilson to lecture. From what I can tell it was one of their best decisions in recent years. I watched the lecture on my computer.
Janice Meredith Wilson is the name of the author who is known by the pseudonym, Jan Karon. She is the author of the Mitford series of novels about an Episcopal pastor from a delightful fictitious village in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains called Mitford, North Carolina. There are nine books in all. They tell a warm story about a community of people and a pastor, his wife, his dog, and her cat. The books are entertaining and insightful, they are descriptive and delightful. Her depictions of people make you laugh and cry. Her descriptions of food make your mouth water. Her insights on the things of God make you want to pray and serve and love and give. Though fiction they are accurate and tasteful in their treatments of human nature and Janice is able to accomplish all this without resorting to profanity, offensive violence, or sexual innuendo.
She did in her address at the National Cathedral what she did in her books. She told her story in a compelling and clear way weaving into the story spiritual insights and biblical truths. It is an art and she is a skilled artist. She told how she came to the place where she knew her life was empty and she called on the Lord Jesus to forgive her sins and take over her life. She so tastefully and boldly proclaimed Christ and the gospel that I literally jumped to my feet and cheered her on.
We may not be asked to speak at the National Cathedral, but we all have our pulpit, our lectern, our microphone, our street corner, our place at the table in the coffee shop. We all have our moment on the stage. We all have our circle of influence. When the time comes-follow Jan Karon’s example. When you have a brief moment in the lights don’t forget who your God is. Don’t forget who your creator is. Don’t forget the One who is your hope and your salvation. Don’t forget the One who is your life. Don’t forget the One in whom we live and move and have our being. With a winsome spirit, with the bold confidence of someone who is handing out one hundred dollar bills, with graceful poise, stand up and make Christ known.
He is the way, the truth, and the life and when you proclaim his name it will have the ring of truth in the hearts of those whom God is calling to himself. He is at work in the hearts of people, do your part and make Him known.
January 16, 2007