2 Corinthians 5:14-18
For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.
From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view;even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.
Recently, the comedian Frank Skinner has released ‘A Comedian’s Book of Prayers’. When it was launched, he was asked in interviews ‘why now?’, and ‘why a book of prayers?’ His answer was interesting. It wasn’t due to a sudden conversion. Far from it; he admitted to being a practicing Catholic all his life. Instead, he took us back to that RE class we maybe all remember, when the teacher asked who believed in God. No-one in Frank’s class put their hand up and, taking their lead, neither did he. “This is me finally putting my hand up!” the congenial star admitted.
After a long silence, Zechariah, who we found silenced earlier this week, also found his voice ( Luke 1). Ironically, it was at the birth of the one who later became known as ‘The Voice’ (His son John) that Zechariah finally spoke up. And what led to the change? Zechariah was driven to speak up in support of Elizabeth, who was being put down and ignored when she spoke out in faith. He didn’t say a lot; just four simple words to start with. But those words were strong and effective (even if a little croaky) because they were charged with the power of love.
In today’s passage, Paul says it is Christ’s love that ‘urges us on’ or ‘compels us’. It’s worth asking ourselves: How does Christ’s love motivate and move me? Have I fully grasped Christ’s love for me and for those around me? Are there people I know who really need to hear the good news of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection (‘the ministry of reconciliation’)? Am I brave enough to ask Jesus to give me the opportunity to tell them about Him and to demonstrate His love in some way?
Lord, let me be frank, I need you to give me the courage to put my hand up to believing in you.
More so, I need your love to compel me. Fill me with more of your love.
I name before you those I know who really need to know about you, your love and your grace.
Give me, today, the opportunity to speak to them, and to demonstrate your love in some way.