Good morning, and a most blessed Thursday morning to you.
Earlier in the week, I was having my own personal time of devotion. And one of the readings that I had was by one of the early church fathers, John Chrysostom. He was referred to as the “golden tongue.” That's what Chrysostom means in Greek. He was known for his preaching, and for his steadfastness in keeping in God's Word.
I want to share a quote from one of his homilies, because as a Christian people, it speaks directly to the heart of the mission that we have as witnesses of the good news of Jesus Christ.
“Nothing is colder than a Christian who does not care for the salvation of others. You cannot plead poverty here; for the poor widow who put in two copper coins will be your accuser. Moreover, Peter said, “Silver and gold I have none.” And Paul was so poor that he often went hungry and lacked necessary food. You cannot plead lowliness of birth; for the apostles were also lowly men and humble. Parents, you cannot allege want of education; for they too were unlearned men. You cannot plead infirmity; for Timothy was of delicate health and was frequently ill. Everyone can be a prophet to his neighbor if he will fulfill his role. Look at the trees of the forest. How strong they are. How beautiful. How large, all so smooth and a great height. But they do not bear fruit. If we had a garden, we should much rather have pomegranates, or fruitful olive trees. The others are for the delight of the eye, not-for-profit; which in their case is very small. Men who are interested only in themselves are like the forest trees, or rather they are not even so good. In fact, they are fit only for the fire, while the forest timber can be used for building houses in palisades. Such are the foolish virgins of the parable; chased indeed, and decent, and modest, but as they are no profit to anyone, they are rejected. Such are they who do not nourish Christ. Observe that none of these are charged with particular sins of their own; with fornication, for instance; or with perjury In short, with no sin, but that of being without use to another. Such was the man who buried his talent, showing indeed a blameless life, but not being useful to others. Do not say, “It is impossible for me to induce others to become Christians.” For if you really were a Christian, it would be impossible for you not to do so. As all nature acts in accordance with its own properties, so in this case too, this is part of the very nature of being a Christian. Do not insult God. To say that the sun cannot shine would be to insult him. To say that being a Christian is useless, is to insult God and call him a liar. It is easier for the sun not to give heat, not to shine; then for the Christian not to send forth light. It is easier for the light to be darkness, then for this to be so.”
That was from one of John Chrysostom’s homilies. And what I hope that we gain from this, from this early church father, is the very nature of who we are in Christ, the very nature of who we are as his disciples. We cannot not share the love of Jesus. It is part of who we are. It is part of who we have been made in His image.
So in those moments when you know you want to speak, but you have fear. Or you know that God has placed you in the life of someone, or someone in your life to share His Word, open your lips. Speak His Word. You are a Christian. You are a follower of Christ. You are a child of God, and as such, as that being part of who you are, part of your nature as a child of God, share! Shine the Light of Jesus everywhere you go. You can't not shine his light as a Christian.
Let us turn to him now and pray. Lord, we thank you for calling us as your own. We thank you for shining your own light through us. We ask that you would open our eyes to see the people that you place in our lives; those whom you seek to touch through us. Lord, let us be sensitive to those around us. Let us shine your light every day. And let us continue to come back to your Word to be strengthened, to be nourished, and to know that we too are loved in your mercy. Lord, we thank you, and we praise you, lifting this all to you in the precious name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Go forth the rest of this week shining the light of Christ, knowing that you are a child of God. And this is good news! I look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday.