I was in a band in college – we got just big enough to get to be the local opener for national acts coming through on tour. One of my favorite shows was when Coheed & Cambria came through on their first national tour, right before they released their first album. Even then they were great live, but what made it so memorable was the conversation I had with their drummer.
We ended up hanging out after the show, talking for a couple of hours. He was a warm, funny, energetic guy, and before too long, he asked the question we got all the time: “Are you guys a Christian band?”
That was a complicated question in the early 2000s – we were all Christians, and a lot of the stuff I wrote about in my songs had Christian themes, but we didn’t preach at shows or anything. But we preferred powerade to beer and we didn’t cuss at the audience like most of the bands, so we got the question a lot. So I said, “Yeah, we’re Christians.”
He was full of questions about faith and religion. I can’t remember everything we talked about, but he was genuinely curious why I was a Christian. He didn’t know much about Christianity, but so little of what he had seen piqued his interest. So when he asked, I told him: I just think Jesus is awesome.
Really? He asked. What do you mean?
So I started telling him stories about Jesus – about how he constantly got the upper hand by outwitting the people who tried to trap him. And how fiercely he defended those without power. I told the story of the woman caught in adultery, brought to Jesus to be stoned to death. I told him how Jesus wrote in the dirt, then looked up at the crowd and said,
But before I could quote Jesus, he did it for me. He yelled out, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone!”
Then he laughed that sort of laugh you do when you discover something good. “I never knew where that quote came from! That’s from Jesus?!“
We didn’t get to talk too much longer after that, but he left excited to read the Gospels, to learn more about Jesus. Almost the last thing he said to me was, “Jesus is awesome!”
Which… yeah. Jesus is awesome! We’re going to talk about that today – how when we’re sharing the good news about Jesus with people, the best thing we can do is keep our conversations focused on the main thing – Jesus. He is, after all, the good news.