Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Bringing Jesus to Life

This is The Spur for Feb. 16. Enjoy! :)M

“Double, double, toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble.” The woman was hunched over, her hands clasped around an imaginary ladle, as she stirred an imaginary cauldron and continued to recite the lines from the famous witches’ scene in Macbeth. We, about twenty-five grade ten girls, were completely transfixed.

When our teacher, “Mrs. B,” suddenly stood straight and announced, “That, ladies, is Shakespeare, and you are going to love him,” we were totally convinced. Somehow she managed to keep us there for the rest of that year. We did learn to love Shakespeare and we learned to love “Mrs. B.” as well. She was a demanding teacher but her style of teaching made her classes a joy. Macbeth wasn’t the only play she recited, complete with voices and facial expressions. She became the characters for us and brought the plays to life.

God calls us to do the same. We are to become the image of Him, of His love, His mercy and His grace, so that people begin to see Jesus through us. In the book of Ephesians, chapter 5, verses 1 and 2, the apostle Paul says – “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” I don’t know about you, but that seems like a tall order to me. It’s hard to imagine that we could even attempt such a feat. We fail too often, sin too much. We are all too human. Left to our own devices, we cannot even begin to be the image of Christ. Yet God asks us to try. And in the trying, He pours His love, His mercy, His grace, into us and empowers us to do His will. And little by little, we are able.

We can become the gospel to those around us, as my teacher became the characters from Shakespeare’s plays. We can become His voice, His hands and His feet, as we listen to His Spirit and obey. Listen and obey – two small words that can mean the difference between a life lived for self and a life lived for God.

The frustrations of life, that make our sin nature take over, will get in our way. We will fail from time to time, but God has not asked us to do the impossible. He has asked us to allow Him to do the impossible through us, that He might be glorified.

Like my teacher of long ago, each one of us can bring Jesus to life for those around us. “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15 &16).

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