Paul Gordon [Terra Nova North Adams] & Anna Arnesen [Terra Nova Troy]
Evangelism Like Jesus
In February & March the Family of Terra Nova Churches will be working through a series we designed called “Evangelism Like Jesus” in our Sunday sermons and small groups. Why? Because those whom Jesus calls, He sends.
On the night before He died, Jesus prayed the Father would send His followers into the world, just as He was sent into the world [John 17:18]. Just before He ascended to be with His Father after His work here was finished, He told His disciples ‘Go and make disciples of all nations’ [Matthew 28:19]. His prayer and His command equally apply to our lives as His disciples today. We are to be sent by Christ to be His ambassadors here and now to the people we do life with and in the places He has put us. But how do we do this?
This series will consider several stories from the life of Jesus and how He shows us what a perfectly missional, or evangelistic, life looks like. If we are to be sent as He was sent, then we want to learn from Him: the best evangelist who ever lived. Through our sermons and small group discussions over the next two months, we hope to uncover foundational principles and consistent patterns that we apply to our lives.
So, please wether you are in Troy, NY or Saratoga Springs, NY or in North Adams, MA – please find your way to a local Terra Nova Church and journey along with us!
Anna Arnesen, of Terra Nova Troy, is our artist for this sermon series. Anna lives in Latham, NY with her husband, Tory, and her pup, Trousers. She also works as an architect in Troy, NY where she also graduated from RPI. To help us remember this series, we will be giving away stickers so be sure to pick these up at your local Terra Sunday Gatherings.
While spending a few October days in silence & solitude, Paul Gordon was contemplating the stained glass at the Abbey of the Genesee and inspirational seeds of stained glass as the artwork for this sermon series were planted. The concepts were shared with Anna Arnesen who ran with the idea and created the artwork for this series.
How does stained glass speak of evangelism and mission to us?
If you look at a building with stained glass during the day from the outside, the glass will appear dark and dull. Stained glass is beautiful when light shines through it. It is the light of Jesus within us, shining through us, that can make our lives & words attractive to the world. Yes, we are fragile and stained; but we are also made beautiful by His light.
Unity & Diversity
Stained glass uniquely draws together diverse colors and shapes to convey a singular message. No one piece of stained glass can adequately tell the whole story or capture the beauty revealed by the whole. Likewise, God uses multiple & diverse people to tell His one gospel story and this diversity will allow people from all tribes, tongues and nations to see and find their way to faith in Jesus. Yes, we are fractured, but we are also bound together into one holistic picture of Jesus.
Often in church history stained glass portrayed a Biblical story. It was sometimes the only access people had to the Bible, since it was not available in their language. Jesus often employed the use of story and parables when reaching the lost. Likewise, the stained glass hands in this artwork are telling a story. Jesus came down to earth to live and die for us. He invited us to believe in Him, reaching down to us. When we believe in Him, reaching up to Him, He fills us with His light and we shine from the inside out. We then can reach out and reflect His light to others.
Awe is a recurring response to Jesus and the Gospel in the Scriptures and in life. Likewise, awe is a common response when one takes in beautiful stained glass. Stained glass creates a seemingly impossible mosaic of color and light from irregular, fragile, fractured pieces of glass. Only God could do the same thing with our lives.