Friday 22nd May
I wonder if you enjoy talking about Jesus? As Christians we all know we should, but how often do we actually do it? Is it something that rolls of the tongue or is it something that you have to consciously force yourself to do? Some people love it and thrive on it, and others find it a real struggle.
Personally it is something I really enjoy, but I appreciate that talking about Jesus does not always come easily or naturally to most people; whether that is because of fear, embarrassment, confidence (or lack of it) or even past experiences of being shot down after even ‘mentioning’ the word faith.
This is usually the case is when everything is going smoothly but lets be honest, it is even more difficult when the world around us looks like it is crumbling apart. I am sure there have been times, when we have been challenged to the core of our faith, because as much as we want to be able to shout for joy and sing praises to God for all that He has done, our situations and circumstances makes it feel like an impossible task.
I also think this is something that we are more acutely aware of at this time. While our world continues to travel through this global pandemic, that has already brought so much suffering, pain, loss and grief, we as Christians may find it hard to see where God is in it all, never mind then trying to share His Good News to those who do not yet believe or know it for themselves.
YET, the great commission tells us to “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28.19). As much as we may like it to the case right now, this commission is not subject to when this global pandemic has finished. In fact I would argue that it is even more important and vital that we continue to fulfil this mission now more than ever.
So how do we, at this moment in time, give a positive testimony of the amazing news of God’s love and hope in and at such a difficult point in time?
Well, I think a good way to learn how is to watch a man who did it – Paul. Over the past few weeks, we have followed Paul’s journey and all the mission trips he has undertaken and we have found that he is a man of (amongst other things) conviction, courage, humility and boldness.
Paul, heroically pursued God’s call through all manner of difficulty and throughout the Mediterranean world—all so that others may come to know Christ as Lord.
For the sake of the Gospel, Paul endured trials of every kind, boldly proclaiming the good news and glorifying God even to those who persistently persecuted him.
Throughout his journey, we see evidence of God’s grace, protection, and provision, which underpinned Paul’s confidence and enabled him, as it enables us today, to live out the faith he proclaimed.
My prayer for us all at this time, is that we may do likewise. That regardless of the situations we find ourselves in as we continue through these difficult days and weeks, we too like Paul may be bold and courageous, sharing the gospel with passion and conviction, so others may have the love, joy and hope our our Risen Lord Jesus; and as we do, may we know that He is always with us to the very end of the age.
Reflection by Rachel Sheehan