As I am approaching my mid-50s, I often think of the end of my life. I think a lot about the way I should live the rest of my life, that when I stand in front of the Lord, I should have lived my life well. These days, I think more about what to do after retirement than what I want to do before retirement.
The way I picture myself at an old age at England, is to go to a pub, order a cup of coffee, share stories and sympathize with people who come there, and then naturally share Jesus, to whom that shares his/her worries or sufferings, as Jesus is the ultimate answer to those.
There is a junior pastor who is doing well in ministry in England. His father was also a pastor, and he went to a bus terminal every day to distribute evangelism materials and preach the gospel even when he was over 90. My old age, which I dream of, is the life of such an evangelist. In a way, perhaps I’m still preparing to do better in what I want to do after the retirement.
People tend to think that evangelism is ignorant, rude, and unilateral. However, the life of Jesus as an evangelist was wonderful and touching. In order to heal the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, Jesus risked having board members of God’s kingdom falling into a sea and dying. He also entered Samaria, where Jews would not normally go, and met a woman with five divorces by the well and changed her life. When Nicodemus, one of the Jews, secretly visited Jesus at night, Jesus told him: “You cannot be saved as you are. You must be reborn,” and eventually made Nicodemus publicly reveal that he was a disciple after Jesus’ death.
Regardless of their status, Jesus met men and women, elderly and adults, intellectuals and those who did not learn, and the topics of the conversation were diverse. The evangelism Jesus showed was an evangelism made by the most extensive intellectual. He answered without hesitation about various issues facing our lives and sometimes asked sharp questions and shut them down.
In addition, he was willing to become friends with leprosy patients, foreign women, and children who were considered subhuman beings at the time. He responded courageously in front of those approaching him to kill himself. The evangelism he showed was never ignorant, rude, and unilateral.
I want to be an old man who spreads gospel of Jesus Christ well, with the heart of compassion from the awareness of how fragile and crooked we are before the Lord, along with the words of Him whom I studied and meditated throughout my life.