Our Gospel today warns us of coming persecutions. At some point, we will all be dragged before synagogues and rulers and authorities of some sort, and we will have to give an account of what we believe. Now for us, it’s not going to be so literal, obviously. But we may have to give an account of why we believe in Christ or why we follow a religion that inconveniently speaks out against threats to life and family. We may have to tell others why it is that we would give up such a beautiful Saturday to clean church pews, or trim a neighbor’s hedges, or play bingo at a nursing home.
Today, on our Make a Difference Day, we take our give strong witness to our faith in our work. As we come together to pack meals at Feed My Starving Children, make blankets for Linden Oaks, or clean up our parish grounds, our presence and concern may be the way God is using to get someone’s attention and see his presence in her or his life. As we engage in whatever we have signed up to do today, God may give us gifts that answer prayers we didn’t even know we had in our hearts, and definitely answer the prayers of others. Our work gives witness to who Christ is in our lives; Christ who loves us first and loves us best. Sharing that love in the work we do today is a powerful way to help others know the presence of Christ in their lives.
Living our faith is always going to cost us something and that something is likely to be status or popularity, or at least the wondering glance from people who aren’t ready to accept the faith. But the volumes that we speak by living our faith anyway might just lay the groundwork for conversion and become a conduit of grace. We are told that we don’t have to hammer out all the words we want to say; that the Holy Spirit will give us eloquence that we can only dream of. And it’s true, if we trust God, if we live our faith when it’s popular or unpopular, we will have the Spirit and the words. God only knows what can be accomplished in those grace-filled moments! I pray that you see Christ everywhere as you witness today.