People there were observing him carefully. (Luke 14:1)
If you’re a parent of a small child, you know that one of the biggest things about them is their eyes. They’re always watching you. They seem to take everything in—often a lot more than you realize. They learn from what you do just as much from what you say, if not more so. Every minute you spend with them is an educational opportunity, with you being the teacher!
Jesus had a teaching opportunity in today’s reading. He was in the house of a Pharisee, where he was being heavily scrutinized. He didn’t worry about his host’s expectations, however. He just did what he knew he should do: he healed a sick man. But then, realizing he had a “captive audience,” he decided to use that healing to bring home a lesson. The Sabbath, he said, was made for healing and salvation, not just for observing rules and traditions.
As believers, we all have opportunities to witness to our faith. Like Jesus, we are on display. Of course, that is true anytime we interact with other people. But it’s especially true if they know we are Christians. Whether we realize it or not, they will pick up some kind of message from us. And whether they realize it or not, they will associate Christianity—and maybe even God—with what they see in us. So we really are “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20)!
It can feel like a lot of responsibility, this call to be Christ to the world. But all we can really be is ourselves, just as Jesus was in the Pharisee’s home. And that’s a good thing! For no one else has your sense of humor. No one else has your way of relating to people. So if you stay close to Jesus and just try to be the best version of yourself, you’ll make an impact. God will use you to reach people in ways that no one else can. You just need to lean back into the Lord’s arms, and you’ll find yourself doing a lot more than you think. For Christ is in you, and he wants to touch everyone with his love.
“Lord, may what I do and say reflect the faith I profess. Strengthen me to be the salt and light that people are looking for.”
Father Ed Bakker,
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne