"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lent Day 4 - Saturday March 12

“He went about doing good ….for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38)

To preface my question today, I ask that you not get all quibbly about dates, and accuracies of time frames, and seasons, and all that….just hang a bit loose with me for a bit.

Suppose you knew that you were gonna die in 30 days. Basically, a month. Four weeks. Would you even want to know? Stop and think for a minute about what you would do these next days – would you do anything differently than normal? Would you quit your job and sit at home in a bleary-eyed funk? Would you spend quality time with family and friends? Would you travel and spend every cent you have? How would you handle these next [very] few weeks?

We have a pretty clear picture from the Scriptures of what Jesus’ schedule was during that final week, but not so much for that last month. I think it was a lot like the scripture above. Jesus simply continued to go about doing good. No fanfare. No marching bands. He simply did what He was here to do. Love. Heal. Teach. Encourage. Disciple. We’ll get to that last week when it’s time, but for now, think about those last weeks leading up to the cross.

Hmmm. What would I do? I’d like to think that I would go out with my chin up, head high, singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. I’d like to think I would spend my time witnessing to those I come in contact with each day with whom I have failed to share my faith. I’d like to think I’d at least stand up more for my faith. This happened to me yesterday. I had a meeting with someone who became extremely negative about specific churches, specific Christians, and even the church universal. I was most uncomfortable because I took it as an attack against me, my church(es), and my faith. This isn’t the first time this type of encounter has happened in this way…there have been quite a few, but it struck me particularly hard this time. I sat there and listened and took it. Partly because others were in the room, but that’s just my excuse. I just sat there and took it. These folks know of my Christianity and of my belief in God and my love for the church. I just sat there and took it. I just sat there and took it. And then I left; angry at them, discouraged, anxious and angry at me. I just sat there and took it.

I didn’t go about doing good. I did not defend the beliefs I have. The God in whom I believe, serve and love. I was not a witness (other than the fact I did not punch someone in the face and call them all manner of names that I should not even know).

If I had only 30 days to live, I would count my life a failure if I did not go back and have a chat to speak up for God’s work in my life and in those around me. Plus, I am not even guaranteed those 30 days. I’m not even promised the rest of today. Or tomorrow. Will I confront (in a loving way) this individual next week? I hope so, I’ll let you know. This is the type of transparency I am going to have to have with myself and with you if this journey is to mean anything to me. If I am to grow. Today I pray for the strength of Jesus in my life to go about doing good in His name. And, I shall pray for you.

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.


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