Writers: Called to proclaim the light of the world
By Jessica Brodie
I hear a lot of grumbling from my writer friends lamenting the “good old days,” when we didn’t have to establish a platform to gain legitimacy even when we write fiction.
But as a modern-day writer and, foremost, a Christian writer, I say we’re lucky today’s writing world necessitates a platform, whatever that platform may be.
Followers of Jesus are called to proclaim the Good News to all people everywhere. As Christians, then, we have an obligation not just to “perfect” our craft and write the best novel we possibly can, then put it safely into the hands of a publisher who can take it from there. No, we are obligated to do far more than this, to share the Good News any way we can. That means taking the story God put on our hearts, and taking the talents God planted in our souls, and letting them shine so that others can see them in a variety of ways. That means embracing our platform for the greater good.
In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus tells His followers, “You are the light of the world. A city on top of a hill can’t be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on top of a lampstand, and it shines on all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people, so they can see the good things you do and praise your Father who is in heaven.”
After his crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus in Mark 16:15 tells His disciples, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to every creature.”
Letting our light shine and proclaiming God’s truth means doing it any way we can, every day, never stopping. It’s our job. And it extends to social media and other online communities.
Letting our light shine and proclaiming God’s truth means doing it any way we can, every day, never stopping. It’s our job. And it extends to social media and other online communities. Facebook is “the world.” So is Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, Goodreads. Anywhere people gather is where we must be, too. Shining the light. Spreading the Gospel.
The founder of Methodism, Oxford-educated John Wesley, was far more comfortable in high church settings, but even he realized he needed to get out of his comfort zone and go where the people were in order to share the faith. That meant preaching the Gospel outdoors, also called “field preaching,” sometimes standing on a box to be seen and heard by the crowds (he was a rather short man).
“I look upon all the world as my parish; thus far I mean, that in whatever part of it I am, I judge it meet, right, and my bounden duty to declare unto all that are willing to hear, the glad tidings of salvation,” Wesley wrote in his journal June 11, 1739.
As Christians, the world is our parish, too. It’s time to embrace that—as followers of Jesus, and as writers.