Jesus–the person in whom we place our trust as Christians—was a person of convictions. His cause–the ideal for which he stood—was love. He lived that conviction by healing on the Sabbath, by eating with “questionable” people, by touching people with leprosy and people who were dead, and by forgiving sins. In showing such love, he risked being rejected in his hometown. He risked being criticized for breaking the rules of the Sabbath. He risked becoming “unclean” from having touched others who were ritually unclean. Ultimately, he risked his life.
If we claim to be disciples of Jesus, then baptism (our own incorporation into Christ’s death and resurrection) should serve as a guide for our own convictions. In the life of baptism, we are asked the following: Are we living among God’s faithful people? Are we hearing the word of God and sharing in the Lord’s supper? Are we proclaiming the good news of God in Christ through word and deed? Are we serving all people, following the example of Jesus? Are we striving for justice and peace in all the earth?
This is excerpted from “Faith Reflections: Faith in action,” written by Emily K. Hartner that appears in the May 2014 issue of Cafe.