My daughters were getting ready for their favourite day of school this morning. It is their favourite not merely because it is the day before the weekend--it is because Friday is 'Show and Share' day. They plan days ahead and bring in something to school that they value to show the class and share it with them.
'Show and Share' is a much better title for the day than what we used to call it 'Show and Tell.'
This week I have been teaching on descriptive writing in my college classes. In descriptive writing, we contrast between showing and telling.
In sharing a description with an audience, telling has a place but showing can be more effective than telling. For example, telling would be, "He was tired" but showing would be, "His cloudy eyelids met in a lingering kiss, as his drifting head became one with the chair-back."
In sharing the gospel, there is a place for telling. However, a description of the kingdom is usually more effective with a showing of the kingdom.
This was Holy Spirit's way in Paul, "and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power" (1 Corinthians 2:4).
The cross of Jesus is not merely telling that it can seem like a telling of an event among other tellings of other events. The kingdom has to be shown, "For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power" (1 Corinthians 4:20).
Francis of Assisi, a saint whose life exemplified the sharing of the agape dynamic of God, said, "Preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words."
It is not that we do not use words, but acts of love are evidence for people in a world where the word love has become a cliché and Christ become a curse word.
Holy Spirit moves through this noise and clutter in the culture through works of love and power.
Show the gospel and let Holy Spirit inscribe Jesus and Abba in people's hearts.
"Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth" (1 John 3:18).
Enjoy show and share, Abba's children!