I was amused to read the story of an insurance company that sponsored a conference at its huge national headquarters building in New York City. Agents from all over the country attended the conference which lasted for five days. During that week one of the attending salesmen was diligent enough to sell insurance to a barber, an elevator operator and to a restaurant worker, all of whom had worked in the building for years, but had never been approached about their insurance needs. The salesman, from a mid-western state, had managed to sell those policies because the local staffers had neglected to do their “homework.”
This led me to remember that we as Christians should be like that insurance salesman in our witness for our faith. In fact, we meet so many people in the course of our lives who have never placed their trust in Christ, some perhaps in our very own families, that we do not need to be in far-off places in order to be ambassadors for Christianity. We can serve as missionaries right where we live.
A wonderful example of this principle of faithful living can be found in the Gospel story of St. Andrew, the first called Apostle. There we read that after he met Jesus and received his gracious invitation, “he first found his own brother Peter… and he brought him to Jesus.” (Jn. 1:41-42). St. Andrew began his work as an Apostle “at home.”
This past Spring, our parish enthusiastically supported an African missionary by raising more than $1,200 in a single day for his orphanage, and this was good. But, at the same time, we are the very people who have failed to share the gospel message with those who may live next door or work at the desk next to ours. Let us always be mindful that Christ asked that his message be shared with “all peoples everywhere” (Mt 28:19), including those who are closest to us.
- Rev. Andrew Demotses
Fr. Andrew Demotses is Pastor Emeritus of St. Vasilios Greek Orthodox Church in Peabody, MA. Fr. Andrew's sermons and meditations have been a regularly featured by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America for decades.