Thoughts 12th Dec

Romans Ch 1 verse 16    For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

I would venture a guess that there are things that each of us is ashamed of, things we have done and things we have said, possibly many years ago? 

Increasingly in society people of faith are viewed with some skepticism and cynicism, as though in a scientific age how could we possibly believe in a creator God who is active in the world today?   This can lead to faith being side-lined from the public sphere to the private one, and to a situation where we feel embarrassed, almost ashamed that contrary to the prevailing wind of society, we believe in God.  I contribute to a football forum on the internet, where those of faith are referred to as the ‘God botherers’, a derogatory phrase meant to be a put-down.  If the reference were to my gender or race there would be an outcry, but we are seen as fair game for ridicule.

First-century Christians faced even worse, much worse, but in the face of this Paul proclaims that he is ‘not ashamed’ of the message of Jesus.  This is not just about identifying with and as a follower of Jesus, but about recognizing that every time we speak of the love of God revealed through the life and death of Jesus, that the power of God is released to bring the hearers to salvation through belief in that same Jesus.

So do not be silent, do not give in to the influence of a society that wants us to be silent, do not be ashamed to associate with and speak of Jesus, for through us the gospel and power of God are released.

Dear Lord Jesus, please take away our fears and anxieties about speaking of you, give us wisdom when to speak, give us boldness to speak with confidence, and give us the grace to love people regardless of their response.

Amen.