I want my students to go beyond a mild-mannered exploration of their parents’ religious bent, so I’m talking for a few weeks about the question, “What does it mean to be a Christian?” Just wanting the students to know they need to dig deeper than they can go with a few spoonfulls of Sunday sugar. They need to aim a little higher than “faithful attender”.
Last week, we talked about how being a Christian means we care about people. Matthew 25 even shows Jesus equating how we treat the poor, hungry, imprisoned… with how we treat him.
Today as I was at Wal-Mart picking up some stuff for the office, I saw a perfect example of someone with a faith that means something. A faith that has translated itself into caring about someone else. It was a college student I know. She saw a lady in a wheelchair trying to push a cart. This was an older lady, not very physically proficient… She had one foot which seemed to be pretty much under control that she used to push herself – one step at a time, while she pushed a cart and tried to steer her wheelchair with her hands.
When I first saw them, my assumption was that my college friend had found some part time employment helping this elderly lady with her errands. The truth is that she just happened to see her struggling and wanted to do something to help. I was really encouraged by seeing her in action. It was Jesus I was watching care for this lady. I can’t imagine how she would have done on her own – though she emphasized to both of us that she could manage if she had too (she seemed as grateful for the company as for the help).
How many times do we wander through our day, not noticing those who struggle all around us? How many times do we turn a blind eye and walk by on the other side of the road – away from somone who needs us? It’s not a chore to help someone else – it is an act of worship to the one who created us. It’s an act of emulation of the one who left heaven to beat down the gates of hell. It’s time to wake up and live the faith we claim to hold.