IT SHOWS IN YOUR FACE
"If you live close to God in his infinite grace – You don’t have to tell it, it shows in your face." - author unknown
An Excerpt from the September 13, 2015 Sermon
In the Gospel according to Mark, Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” Some said John the Baptist, some said Elijah, others said he might be a prophet. Then Jesus turned the question directly on them and asked, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered by saying, “You are the Messiah.” (Mark 8:2-38). In the Gospel according to Mark, Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” Some said John the Baptist, some said Elijah, others said he might be a prophet. Then Jesus turned the question directly on them and asked, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered by saying, “You are the Messiah.” (Mark 8:2-38).
Jesus goes on to say to the crowd and the same disciples that if they want to follow him, they must take up their cross and follow. Saying that he is the Messiah requires a response. The Gospel according to Matthew presents the same idea of response when Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you.” He also adds, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30). To carry a cross sounds burdensome and to put on a yoke sounds heavy. But Jesus assures us that his yoke is easy and that the response of our lives will be light.
Who do we say that he is? It’s easier to answer generally who others might say that Jesus is. We can answer for others and not commit to anything ourselves. To answer for ourselves from the depths of our being requires response. What will be our response when we say that Jesus is Lord; that he is the Messiah? What will be our response when we acknowledge that the God of all creation is the God we worship? The writer of the Psalms prayed that his life would be a response by saying, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my strength and my redeemer.” How will our lives look in response to God’s love for us?
Perhaps it will mean giving up that extra sleep on Sunday morning to be at church. Perhaps it will mean choosing to serve and worship God rather than go to some other activity. There is a lightness to life and a joy that is found in living in God’s grace – and joy is contagious. When life seems heavy, perhaps you need to be here to feel and catch that joy. If you have that joy, you need to be here because your joy is the joy that someone else needs. The life choices that you make reflect the response of who you say that He is. What does your life say about what you believe about Jesus?
A number of years ago, my great-aunt sent me a poem. She had written it on a piece of paper and I am not sure who the author might be. She died several years ago, but I kept this poem, and its words have stayed with me throughout these many years. I think it speaks of how our response to God’s love for us might look in our lives. It speaks of what might shine from within us when we know the grace of saying that Jesus is the Lord and Messiah.
It Shows in Your Face
You don’t have to tell how you live each day;
You don’t have to say if you work or you play;
A tried, true barometer serves in the place
– However you live, it will show in your face.
The false, the deceit that you bear in your heart,
Will not stay inside where it first got a start;
For sinew and blood are a thin veil of lace –
What you wear in your heart,
you will wear in your face.
If your life is unselfish, if for others you live,
For not what you get, but how much you can give;
If you live close to God in his infinite grace –
You don’t have to tell it, it shows in your face.
- Author Unknown
Jesus asks today, “Who do you say that I am?” What will show in your face? Will you this day live in His grace?
~ The Rev. Anthony Jones, Deacon