When Claire McGarry attends a mini-class at her parish, she's surprised by the answer her pastor gives for how to defend our faith.
Our new pastor is giving mini-classes at our parish on different topics. He's incredibly knowledgeable and well spoken. He's worked directly with two Popes, the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO). When he teaches, he's extremely convincing because he's so learned and passionate about the faith.
When it came time for the Q & A portion of the class, a woman asked the same exact question that was on my mind: "How do you have a conversation about our faith with someone who doesn't believe?" Like me, I think she felt ill-equipped. Unlike him, she and I aren't learned enough to defend all the rebuttals.
My esteem for him grew even more with how he answered her.
I think we all assumed he was going to give her a list of books she should read, or recommend an online theology class to equip and instruct her. Instead, without missing a beat, he told her to just live out her faith. Here was a man who took on the WHO regarding morals and ethics, and his advice to her was to just be an example, a witness, using her actions to convey the message she lacks the words to express.
In today's world, it seems the agenda is set by whomever speaks the loudest, has the biggest social media following and can influence and sway the masses with their words. Yet, our pastor's wise and counter-cultural guidance is exactly what Jesus would have said.
Not all of us have been given the words to defend our faith. But we've all been given free will to decide what actions we'll take each and every day. Those actions become our example, our witness to what we believe.
Thus says the LORD of hosts: In those days ten people from nations of every language will take hold, yes, will take hold of the cloak of every Judahite and say, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” (Zechariah 8:23)
When times get difficult, the same people who argue us into a corner may be the very same people who turn to us for reassurance. If our example shows that we're anchored in Christ no matter the storm, it may be the hem of our robe they take hold of, realizing God is with us.
Copyright 2021 Claire McGarry
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About the Author
Claire McGarry is the author of Grace in Tension: Discover Peace with Martha and Mary, and the Lenten family devotionals With Our Savior and Abundant Mercy. Claire is a regular contributor to Living Faith, and her freelance work has appeared in several books, magazines, and devotionals. She blogs weekly at Shifting My Perspective, and lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon.