Psalm 88; 1 Macc. 1:41-63; Rev. 19:11-16; Matt. 16:13-20
Who do you say that I am?
Forget the words, friends: it’s easy to say “personal Lord and Savior,” because let’s be honest, most of us couldn’t give a real definition of what Kyrios-kai-Soter meant to a 1st c Greek speaker if our lives hung on the outcome. Why does saying Jesus is Lord offend the Roman government? Because it most certainly did. Heck, offends the Chinese and North Korean governments to this very day. Scholars shed gallons of ink and scholarly blood every year disagreeing with one another about what Son of Man and Son of God mean–and surely, of all the titles we give Jesus, those are the easiest to grasp intuitively? The Prayer Book once again gets it so very right, in that fabulous prayer where we say “not only with our lips but in our lives, by giving up our selves to Your service.”
Forget the words. What do mydeeds say about Jesus? Do I forgive–because if not, I’m saying my personal Lord and Savior is a wrathful deity who holds a grudge (and no, the lower case isn’t a mistake there: false gods, like the ones I create for myself, don’t get capital letters when I type). Do I work on my titanic temper, work on making sure the words I say and type sound more like Jesus than like a rapper on a rant? Do I give to those in need and having given, stop worrying about whether or not the gift was appreciated as fulsomely as I think it should? Do you defer to the weak even when it’s my right to insist otherwise, uphold the widow and orphan, love the foreigner (all of which are biblical commandments, not biblical suggestions)?
If not, what am I saying about Jesus? Because words are easy. Deeds, on the other hand, require sweat equity. They get one invested. If I’m only as invested in Jesus as a handful of bumper sticker slogans, then maybe it’s time for me to jump into the pool with a bit more gusto. What do I say, when my lips are shut, about Him?