As we explore how to live out our faith, offer people hope, and love our neighbors in 2011, CCC is focusing on 1st Corinthians 13:13. While reading a Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, I came across the author’s summation of this verse: “Life in the Spirit is a life of trusting God, having confidence about the future and loving one another” (Hawthorne, G.). Thinking about ‘sharing our faith’ with people can be stated as helping people to trust in God as we have begun to trust in God. In a time when there seems fewer and fewer things to trust in (stock market, politicians’ promises, and steady job markets to name a few), what better opportunity is there to share one’s trust in God?
People often ask me if we also share the gospel in addition to the sofas we drop off, ramps we build, or yards we mow for our neighbors. I believe we are sharing the gospel when we are serving in the name of Jesus like Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven”. I think what people mean by that question, is, “Are you sharing how you trust in God with your life, and encouraging other people to trust in God with their life?” If that’s what they mean, my answer is, “yes”, and, “yes and yes”. “Yes, we feel lead to serve our neighbors. Yes, we share our faith and encourage others’ faith in God, and, yes, we invite people to live in community with people who are also trusting God with their lives.” Some would say we are trying to live incarnational lives modeled after Christ in that he lived among the people he loved and served. We believe the ‘good news’ of Jesus to be, what some term, a “wholistic” message that is proclaimed, lived out, and is inclusive–meant to be shared and lived out with our neighbors, transients, and aliens.
To me, this begs the question (of myself and of others), “How do we trust in God with our life?” We’ll need to do more than hold knowledge and virtue in our minds. We’ll need to commit ourselves to be people who follow Jesus and share his love and message.