As Christians, we know that God is with us, giving us strength, guidance, and challenge. Many times, I’ve heard others say, “I never would have gotten through Susie’s death without God, and without the support of my church family.” Consequently, we want others to have faith, too.
How do we make people understand the strength and joy, the wisdom and comfort that come with faith? How do we compete in this crazy world where every minute is filled with activity and work?
Jesus didn’t compete. He issued invitations to James and John. They immediately left their nets and followed him. Were they the only ones he asked? What about the ones who said, “Not interested, too busy, can’t.” They wouldn’t be mentioned in the Bible. They missed the adventure.
Regardless of how many said no, some said yes. His following became large enough to be a problem for the religious leaders and the Romans. Why did some accept his invitation?
As I read the stories, I see that Jesus did more than issue invitations. He lived what he taught. He lived acceptance of everyone, even when he received criticism. He lived compassion and kindness, even when he was tired. Jesus passionately lived what he believed. People met him, watched him, listened to him, saw him in action, experienced his love, and they believed. They joined his group.
St. Paul wrote to tell us to live so that when people get to know us, they will have met Jesus. That’s our calling, our life’s work as Christians. In everything we say and everything we do, whether it’s standing in line at the grocery store, working at the office, or cooking dinner at home, we can choose to let Jesus’ compassion, acceptance, love shine through us. Only then will others want to make faith a priority in their busy lives.
“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” (2 Corinthians 4:20)