One of my current readings is Faith-Sharing, by H. Eddie Fox & George E. Morris. This book and Sunday’s readings from first chapter of Acts and the last chapter of Luke started me thinking. In the two texts, we heard Jesus giving some last minute directions to the disciples just prior to ascending to sit at the right hand of God, the Father. The point Jesus made was that these disciples were going to be sent to be witnesses of the life, death and resurrection of the Messiah and what that meant for their own lives.
But let us be realistic. The majority of us have troubles sharing our faith. We are afraid of what others might think or say of us. We do not want others to push their opinions and beliefs on us, and we do the same to them. And for many of us, we really admit it, faith sharing is embarrassing to us.
For a moment I want you to remember how you came to faith. Did God stick a finger out of the heavens and tapped you on the shoulder? Did God stick out his leg and trip you to get your attention? Did God zap you with a lightening bolt from heaven? Though all this might be possible, the Biblical witness tells me that God put someone in your path to share their faith with you. It could have been a family member, a friend, or even a stranger. I remember for myself it was a stranger who invited Regina and I to church one day.
You see God is seeking a relationship with the Lord God’s creation. Look at the book of Genesis. God created and placed humankind, male and female, Adam and Eve, in the middle of that creation to have a relationship with God. We know that things went bad quickly, when pride and self importance led the two to eat fruit that had been forbidden to them. Then what happened. Genesis 3:8-9 “They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”
Here is the creator of heaven and earth, who knows all things at all times, calling out to Adam, “Where are you?” The Lord God is seeking humanity even though that same Lord God already knew what they had done. This same Lord God asked where were you and goes on asking that of others – where are you? The entire Bible is a witness to God asking this question, seeking to heal the wounds that separate humankind from its Creator God. This search came to its conclusion with Jesus. Jesus suffered and died and on the third day was raised so that we and all humanity might enter back into a relationship with the Lord God.
The point for us, those who claim to be Christians, we are the chosen ones to share that faith in this loving God who seeks reconciliation with his own creation. The reasons are beyond our comprehension, but that is how God does it, time and time again. Just as Jesus took a motley group of disciples made of fishermen, tax collectors and even prostitutes, we who farm, work in factories, in offices and stores and at home are sent to share the Good News one telling at a time.