Not that long ago, I was in the field with a coworker of mine. She was talking about a recent trip she took to Japan. It was a cool conversation and touched on all the fun she had on the trip. She also started to discuss how she had recently gotten into anime. Her boyfriend and her trip to Japan had provided her the motivation and desire to check into anime. This just opened the floodgates of conversation for me!
I do not have a lot of friends in real life who watch anime, so I was excited! We talked about shows she was watching. I talked about the ones I was watching. She was watching so many different shows, in her words to “catch up on all she had missed up until this point.” She wanted to get a good understanding of anime over the past 20 years or so. And she was succeeding. It was really fun to talk to someone about something I feel so passionately about. I enjoy anime and like being able to talk to friends about it. I really wish I had more friends locally who liked anime. Having a friend who watches anime was great!
I went back to my hotel room that night and thought I had a pretty good day. Then I read my Bible and realized something incredibly important: I spent most of the day talking about anime and none of the day talking about Jesus. I was proselytizing about the goodness of Sakura Quest, but when it came to the God that I have professed as my Lord—I said nothing. I had missed the point and had not even considered sharing the Gospel of Christ with my friend.
As Christians we are called to evangelize. One of the last things Jesus said before He ascended into Heaven was a Great Commission for His followers to share His message with all peoples of the Earth. We are called, no required to do just that. How that looks in your everyday life may be different from person to person. It may involve personal conversations with friends. It may involve actions where you bring the Gospel through your good deeds to the people. It may involve missionary work far away from home. But, it should be involved in your day to day life. His name should come up daily.
And it doesn’t necessarily with me every day. I find myself “evangelizing” on behalf of various anime, Star Wars, Pokemon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or other fandoms in which I’m involved. I love my fun media and that’s okay. Enjoying art and media is not inherently problematic, but when we lose sight of the Gospel because of it we need to remind ourselves to focus. Jesus is at the center. His saving, self-sacrifice on the cross changed everything. He freed us from sin. He freed us from enslavement to the things of this world. He is sufficient to free us from the bondage of obsession with temporary. When we refocus, we are reminded of this truth. Let’s try not to forget it.