On my birthday not long ago, my wife and I went for an afternoon drive, something we rarely have time to do, and came across a Catholic prayer mountain. We decided to go in an walk around. We were the only people there because, as we found out, this location is always open but only crowded during important holidays and other events. As we walked up and down the mountain, loosely following the stations of the cross, we came across and unexpected sighting of Jesus. Seeing Jesus wasn’t unexpected–we were in a mountainside Catholic garden, after all–but seeing him like this actually startled me for a moment. I’ve never seen Jesus like this in all my years in this predominately non-Christian nation.
This cross has been here for years, but no one ever sees it, save for the Catholics who come a couple of times a year. In other words, only people who already know Christ ever see this image. As I looked on for a few moments I thought to myself–Who is it that sees Christ in me? Is it only those who already know the Savior who see him in me? Do I let him loose only when around people who already know him, then put him back in our pocket around those who don’t?
Scripture tells us that we are the aroma…the image…of Christ to the people around us. If people are to see him it will most often occur by means of seeing us, which might be (or should be) slightly disconcerting to think about.
We are the body of Christ; the visible presence of Christ in our world. And Christ is the image…the reflection…the representation…of the invisible God; the God known as Love; the God who creates, sustains, and forgives. God’s love, poured into our lives by the Holy Spirit through Christ, shines out from us in our words, our actions, our attitudes….and even our Facebook posts. Let us love the people around us–particularly those with whom we disagree and those with whom we share little in common–with the same kind of love that God has shown to us in Christ.