"After Jesus had left that place, he passed along the Sea of Galilee, and he went up the mountain, where he sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the mute, and many others. They put them at his feet, and he cured them, so that the crowd was amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel."
~ Matthew 15:29 - 31
One of the things I realize about Jesus when I read passages like the one from Matthew, is that Jesus knew his true identity. While it must have been exhausting, even for Jesus, to spend each day curing those that were brought to him, never did he turn them away.
When I read about the life of Christ, I recognize how broken, wounded, and vulnerable the people were that Christ met. In many ways it makes these stories relevant, even for us today. Each day we meet people who mirror those that Jesus saw as he walked the dusty roads and entered village after village. With each new day, Jesus found himself open to receive and give love to each person that he met.
The stark reality that we must face is that God created each of us, and knows us. There is not a single person in this world that doesn't have something to offer to someone else.
We strive to be the vessel carrying the living Christ to others, knowing that God loves us not because of what we do or accomplish, but because God did create us. God has rescued us in God's love and has chosen each of us to be the bearers of that love!
I think that today too many churches are trying too hard to make themselves relevant. Flashy displays, loud bands and productions seem to echo the words, "turn these stones into bread," rather than, go and love one another and make disciples.
I'm reminded that "One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4).
The thing we must remember is that each of us have the ability to make an impact in the life of someone else. Sometimes I think that we don't see ourselves as someone who can make a difference, and so we don't try.
There is a completely different story to tell, and it begins with each of us!
It's more than being relevant. It's having the capacity to meet people where they are and to bring hope to the hopeless, faith to those who have lost their faith, and love to those who fail to see that they are deserving of love.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.