Reading the Christian

“You show that you are a letter from Christ …”

2 Corinthians 3:3

During this most recent season of Pentecost, I have been blessed by some thought-provoking messages about the presence and impact of the Holy Spirit in our lives. As a result, a devotional from At the Feet of Jesus by Joanna Weaver[1] has resonated with me and I wanted to share her message with others.

“Unfortunately, as the world well knows, it’s easy for Christians to forget what we’re here for,” says Weaver.

“It’s easy to fall into the hypocrisy of talking one way and living another way … or to get so involved with our religious activities that we simply neglect to reach out to those around us.”

Weaver quotes Mahatma Gandhi: “If Christians lived according to their faith, there would be no more Hindus left in India.[2]  She notes that this leader was “fascinated” by the thought of knowing Christ but felt let down when he met Christians, and she says many feel the same the world over.

We may wish to direct people’s gaze to Jesus rather than ourselves, but that won’t work for many, adds Weaver, citing Dwight L. Moody: “Of one hundred men, one will read the Bible; the ninety-nine will read the Christian.”[3]

The early Christian church didn’t have a Bible, just the Hebrew Scriptures, says Weaver.

“The only evidence of this new and living way came in the form of the walking, breathing, living epistles that filled the young church’s meeting rooms and spilled out into the street.”

Weaver points to the apostle Paul’s understanding of the responsibility involved in representing Jesus. She notes that more than nine times in the New Testament, Paul tells his readers in effect, ‘Follow me as I follow Christ’, and she quotes from his second letter to the Corinthians in which he advised them, “You show that you are a letter from Christ … ” (2 Corinthians 3:3).

“You are a letter that is known and read by everyone,” Weaver concludes. “I wonder … What message will they read in you and me?”

As we seek and strive to “Know Christ and make Him known”, may we never grow weary or complacent in being ambassadors for our Heavenly Father.

[1] Joanna Weaver, At the Feet of Jesus (Manhattan: Penguin Random House, 2019), 166

[2] Mahatma Gandhi, quoted in Mother Teresa, In My Own Words (New York: Random House, 1966), 100

[3] Dwight L. Moody, quoted in Philip Yancey, What’s So Amazing About Grace?, 262

This is one of a series of devotions posted by Haliburton United Church and Haliburton Pastoral Charge. Our thanks to Nancy Cornish for bringing us this devotion.

If you would like to submit a devotion for consideration, please email us.

Image by kropekk_pl from Pixabay

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