Daily Reflection
May 7th, 2004
Daniel Patrick O'Reilly
Registrar's Office
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The scripture is an interesting mix today.  It presents some interesting challenges to believers.  And there’s a humorous sidelight for me.  In Acts, Paul goes to the synagogue in Antioch and greets the Jews there as his brothers.  He proclaims to them the good news of Christ.  He points out to them that Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promise described in the second Psalm.  In John, Jesus comforts the disciples.  He tells them to believe in him.  Jesus tells them that he is going to prepare a place for them and that he will come back for them.  It’s encouraging to me that Thomas was right there, talking to Jesus and he still didn’t understand.  It makes me feel a little better when I read scripture and don’t always understand.

My wife really likes today’s reading from John.  We’ve always lived in pretty cramped quarters and she always feels she is competing with husband and kids for bathroom time.  She dreams of the day Christ comes back for her and takes her to a prepared room with a private bath.  I’ve always found this funny, but I have to be careful not to laugh out loud.  The challenge comes at the end of John’s reading.  Jesus says I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me. 
I had an interesting experience recently.  I visited a neighboring church to observe their children’s program.  They are doing some exciting things that I would like to possibly bring to my own church.  I was welcomed with open arms by brothers and sisters in Christ.  However, later on a gentleman approached me and asked if I was a visitor.  I said yes and told him what church I was from.  He asked me if I was a Christian.  My immediate reaction was to take offense.  The implication was that if I was from that church, well, maybe I wasn’t a Christian.  However, as I thought about it later, this gentleman was presenting the same challenge that Christ presents.  I may be a nice guy.  Maybe I’m a good husband and father.  Maybe I coach or participate in children’s programs.  Maybe I do all sorts of good deeds.  But do I believe Jesus is the way to God?

We live in a society that tells us to mind our own business.  Be a good citizen.  Live and let live.  If someone is doing good deeds, why do they need to hear about Jesus?  If someone has all the material comforts they can find in life, why would they need to hear about Jesus?  Well, because Christ says so.  Christ’s challenge is compounded by the fact that believers are not all angels.  Who am I to tell someone that Jesus is the way?  The Body of Christ is filled with people who do bad things and are hypocrites.  I’m a prime example.  So should that be an excuse not to spread the Good News?  No.  I will never be as good as Christ, but that cannot be my excuse for not telling people about him.   Paul walked into the synagogue in Antioch, probably filled with good people, and told them about Jesus.  This is a hard challenge for me.  I don’t feel worthy or adequate to present Christ to others.  I hate rejection.  I’m easily embarrassed.  I don’t want to offend.  What if I drive people away from Jesus?  And yet Jesus puts it out there, right in front of us.   What a challenge.  Sometimes it seems like a formidable task.  So how do we do it?  To be honest I don’t have many answers.  I think scripture, trust, prayer, example and obedience are keys.  My prayer today is for all of those around the world presenting the Gospel.

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