Brief Reflections on “Sharing the Gospel” or “Evangelizing” or “Saving” Our Guests at Manna House

“Do you share the Gospel with the people who come to Manna House?”

“Do you evangelize the people you serve at Manna House?

Yes, we do, if by sharing the Gospel (or evangelizing) you mean what Jesus meant by sharing the Gospel (evangelizing) which was to share

“good news to the poor, 
    to proclaim release to the prisoners 
    and recovery of sight to the blind, 
    to liberate the oppressed,  

and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19).

We hope to be good news to our guests who come from the streets and in poverty by offering hospitality that respects their dignity as made in the image of God. 

We hope to proclaim release to the prisoners as we advocate stopping the criminalization of people in poverty, ending the death penalty, and undoing the mass incarceration done by our racist and classist criminal justice system. 

We seek to liberate the oppressed as we stand opposed to the “filthy rotten system” of consumer capitalism that oppresses the poor and God’s creation, and we urge a Beloved Community dedicated to the common good. 

We proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (Biblical Jubilee, Isaiah 61:1-3, Leviticus 25:1-22) as we urge and practice a radical redistribution of goods so that everyone can enjoy enough to have life and have it to the full (John 10:10).

“How many people have you saved at Manna House?”

We have saved exactly zero people at Manna House. We are not God. We are not Jesus Christ. We don’t save people. God does. Our guests at Manna House do bring Jesus Christ to us, just as Jesus promised, “Whatever you do unto the least of these you do unto me” (Matthew 25:31-46). We seek to love each of our guests as Jesus commanded us to do, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34).

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