Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hope Echoes--My Journey in Faith

We who believe in Christ are sometimes called a Resurrection people.  We not only believe in the prophet and teacher, we met the risen Lord on the road to Emmaus.  Our hearts burned within us when we recognized Him.  Most of us have had at least one experience like the Apostles did on that road where we recognized the Lord as present in our life.  Our hearts still burn within us in longing for the One who saved us.

But how do we keep Him present?  How do we recognize His presence still, not just once along the road of our lives and in the breaking of the bread, but in our lives, real and present?  How can we not just hang in there and hope and pray for Him who saved us to touch us still? We must heed and answer His call.

If our faith is alive, then we have to let it grow.  We have to pray for growth.  What did Christ call us to do?  Go out and preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth and make disciples of all nations.  This is a tall order and an easy excuse for those of us who don't plan on a trip to Africa or China or some other far corner of the earth.  But in our households, in our neighborhoods, in our churches, in our book clubs, are all saved?  Do they all know the good news?  Maybe they have heard of or experienced Christianity, but have they experienced God's love?  Have they experienced forgiveness?  Have they experienced patience?  Have they been served well by the people of Christ?

I don't know about your family or neighborhood or church or workplace or book club, but in mine, there is some room for the people of Christ, namely, me, to preach the gospel through actions of love and mercy and kindness and patience and gentleness and self-control.  Oh, yes, there is room.  I don't need to go anywhere.  The ends of the earth are right here, right now.

Put that way, I am overwhelmed but the work to do for the Lord.  I don't have the strength.  But, Christ knew that I wouldn't.  The Holy Spirit was sent for that exact purpose.  I received all the gifts I need to do the work in front of me at Baptism.  If I take them out and use them, they will flower and bear fruit in me.

And that is why I think of myself as a Pentecost disciple.  I am not just sitting there waiting to die and be taken up to Heaven.  I am aiming to take as many of my companions with me as possible. I have a job to do.  In answering that call, in doing what God asks of me, I will be better prepared to spend eternity rejoicing with Him in Heaven.


Tami said...

I completely agree. What is a struggle for me is in living this example, having those who I am trying to share Christ acknowledge that example, but then they choose not to follow. They may admire me for my choices, but do not think "this life" would be for them. What do you do with that? Does anyone have suggestions?

Please don't read that I think I have it all together, as I know I have so much work to do. I commit myself to working on improving myself each day (some days I am just more successful than others.)

Dawn Farias said...

Bloom Where Your Planted, right?

abroadermark said...

I want to be as sure about things religious as you are, Mary Poppins. I really do.

Mary said...

Not religious. I'm not religious. I believe. I have hope because Christ has overcome sin and death for me. And boy oh boy do I need saving on a daily basis. But I believe, because the love of God has been poured out on me through the Holy Spirit. I have a wet faith. There is a river of life flowing out of me. You can have that too. Don't be religious. Just believe.

abroadermark said...

Oh, okay.

Tami said...

Okay, I was really hoping one of you smart ladies could give me advide. Seriously, how do you handle it when you share Christ, not just the story but His love, and in the end that person says, "No thanks."?
What is our responsibility for that soul?

Tami said...

That would be advice I'm seeking. I'm not sure what advide is.

Amanda said...

@Tami... I would venture to say, that you just need to keep praying for that person. We can't 'talk' anyone into receiving the free gift salvation, but we can plant seeds, which the Holy Spirit will water. The rest is up to Him!

Often a person doesn't show any evidence of change or being drawn, but we don't know what is going on underground (in his/her heart). Often we expect to see results on our timetable, but His is often different to ours... hope this helps!

Mary said...

Amanda, I knew there was a reason I keep that pesky rabbit up there, so you can say the same thing to Tami that I am thinking.

Pray for them and if necessary use words. Demonstrate love. You may never see the change in that person's heart, but God who loves that person more than you, is working on them through the Holy Spirit. Just be Christ for that person. Think of St Paul, he KILLED St Stephen, but look at what he was called to be for all of us. We aren't here to get results, just to love. And witness when we have the opportunity.