...and everyone is an evangelist.
Well, yesterday, preaching on the bit in Luke's Gospel (chapter 10) where Jesus sends a load of people out to spread the Good News of his Kingdom, I had a little epiphany - i.e. a new light bulb came on in my head.
I realised that anyone can do what Jesus was telling his disciples to do all those years ago. Not the casting out demons and treading on snakes and scorpions bit, but the simple instruction to bring, and declare, God's peace in every place they go and to every person they meet.
We can all be peace-bringers, we can all embody - not always perfectly, but often whole-heartedly - the loving presence of God in each situation of our lives. And so we can all say, either aloud or with our actions, what Jesus told his first evangelists to say: "The Kingdom of God has come near".
And so, we are all evangelists. Without having to rattle off any of the tiresome slogans we associate with evangelism, without needing to shout in people's ear that God loves them, we are all able to be ambassadors of God's peace. We are all able to pray for peace, to wish for peace, to stand for peace. We are all able, in this way, to be a blessing to others.
And, in the same way, we are all able to be theologians. A theologian isn't a clever person who has learned lots of words no-one else understands. A theologian is anyone who says anything true about God. And I think we can all say, when the occasion requires: "God is real - God is love - and God loves you and me and all people".
This is both a blessing and a burden. The burden is: once we have understood that our lack of learning and/or low self-esteem form no barrier to being an evangelist (and a theologian!), we have no excuse for not doing it.
And the blessing? I've only glimpsed this, but I would say - some kind of wonderful freedom in knowing that the simplest act of loving-kindness, the most basic offering of peace, really can bring God's Kingdom near.