27 Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” 29 He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” 30 And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.
How do we make Christ known in our world?
While most of us will never wind up setting up a soapbox in the middle of the local shopping center parking lot, and would not want to (even if we did have the time) it can still be a challenging to make Christ known in the midst our busy lives.
When we are in caught up in the challenges of living our lives the call to make Christ known can become lost in the fray of dealing with our responsibilities of children, home and work. Often, we can find ourselves in mid-week feeling too tired and stressed to even think about how we can share our faith with others, as we can feel as if we are doing all we can to just get through the day in one piece!
This can be true for any parent, as our main priority is the well-being and care of our children, even those who are ‘grown’; for single parents, it can even more challenging for us to keep focus on living our faith as the majority of responsibility falls upon our shoulders. In the midst of this stress we can get irritable and angry, and even find ourselves snapping at our children and others out of this frustration.
I have often found myself in a foul mood while driving, or having to wait in a long line at a store when either late for work, or late at night when on the way home. I have also lost my temper with my daughter on numerous occasions: lecturing her about something we have gone over again and again, pushing us into a shouting match, when walking away would have been the best choice. These events have only caused more stress and anxiety for us both, two things we really do not need to have more of in our lives!
When we let the stress of life get the better of us, and we become grouchy and prone to argument we are NOT sharing the Gospel, and instead are falling short of the call to make Christ known in our world; however, it is very human!
And it is because we are human that living our faith in the midst is so important…for our faith gives us the strength to face the challenges of life, as when we live our faith Christ is made known! When Christ is made known God’s love is with us, and where that love is shared together there is support, hope and strength, as well as forgiveness for those times when we have fallen short of our call.
For God does not call us to perfect followers of Christ, which is why forgiveness is such a great gift!
Our children look to us for how to act and react to certain situations: how we face the challenges in our lives can teach our children a valuable lesson on the importance of our living faith when meeting life on life’s terms.
We can fall apart in the face of too much stress, or we can rise up and meet our challenges head-on, sometimes we will triumph, other times we will fail…and sometimes we will have to live with an uncertain outcome of our struggles. The good thing is that there is no right or wrong way to face challenges whether they are at home, work or out in the world; as the important thing is that we do face them in the light of our faith!
Our good news today is that we do not face these challenges alone, but with the help of each other, as we are all part of the Body of Christ in our world!
For it is in living our lives, as messy as they often are, in faith and with the shared love of God that we proclaim Christ in all that we do. For it is through living our faith out loud that we tell the world who we say Christ is: the Messiah, that son of God, our savior and our hope, whose light is always with us, shining through our sometimes dark world!
Let Us Pray:
God, thank you for making your love an active part of our lives through the gift of Christ in our world. Please help us to make Christ known in all at we do, by following his example and teachings, just as we hope our children learn from us. As followers of Christ, let us be forgiving of ourselves and others when we fall short of our glory, and help us to remember that our faith shines as brightly when we deal with failure as it does when we celebrate success. Keep us in safe in the protection of your love as we journey together through our sometimes difficult world, as we share the light of your love and forgiveness, with the power of hope.