Prove It!!! ~ The Rt. Rev. Michael Beckett, OPI
In the gospel appointed for today, we read of Thomas’s doubt and insistence that this “He’s alive!” be proved. And lo and behold, Jesus popped in later and indeed proved Himself to Thomas.
Isn’t that awesome? But…….(And y’all who know me well know there is usually a ‘but’ coming….BUT, what about us today? Jesus ain’t just gonna pop in on the word to prove that He’s hanging around with us.
Or is He?
Really? Is he? How can we prove this to the world? In what way do our lives reflect this? It is so easy for us to celebrate the Easter Season, with all the accompanying fanfare, the music, the bunnies and chicks and eggs and ham….. We dress up in our best, go to church, and celebrate. And then what happens the next Monday and all the days after that??? We talk about how nice Easter was and go back to business as usual.
If Christ is alive as we proclaim he is, if Christ rose again from the grave to save us from our sins, to change our lives, then should our lives not reflect a profound change? One that is visible to all with whom we come into contact?
If Jesus Christ is the very God we claim, come in the flesh of humanity, if He is the Lord “through Whom all things were made,” as we recite in the Nicene Creed, it is up to us to proclaim this with all that we are, with all that we do. Think about those whom Jesus had following Him: sailors, insurgents, tax-farmers, prostitutes, widows, lepers, and, on occasion wealthy folks. Rulers, workers, and the dregs of society. Young and old. Their lives were changed in such a drastic measure that they died for their faith. Many of them left all that they had, the security of their homes, their jobs, their families, to follow Jesus. Would you? Our Christian brothers and sisters are under attack in the Mid East, in the Philippines, in Africa. Many of them have died in order to proclaim their faith. Would you do as much? Would you die for Christ?
If then, the answer is yes, would you not LIVE for Christ? You say to me, “Bishop Michael, how do you expect us to do that?” The answer to that was given to us by our Lord, Himself:
“As I have loved you, love one another.” He lived out the ultimate example of what this means. Then he said, “No greater love hath any man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Then He did just that. But it was not only to save us from our sins, though it was most assuredly that. It was the sign, the seal, that proved He was Who He said He was and that His word was true.
If He really is risen, then we have an obligation one to another to serve our fellow man as He served us. And we have an obligation to share this Good News with our fellow man. We have to make the blessings we have gained available to every human. And we have an obligation to show that there really is truth to the old song, “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love. And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.” We have an obligation to reflect Christ’s goodness, His holiness, in our lives. By our speech, by our actions, by our very thoughts.
As you have heard me say a couple of zillion times, YOU are the only Jesus some folks will ever see. YOU are the only Bible some folks will ever read.
He is alive! Let us allow Him to live anew through our lives, reflecting His love and His promise in all that we do, in all that we say, in all that we are. He is alive!!!!! Amen.
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