Who Belongs in the Circle?
Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and
he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
About a week ago I was with two colleagues from work having lunch at a near-by Chinese restaurant. As we were talking and eating a group of colleagues from my previous place of work were led by the waitress to the table next to ours. I was thrilled to see them as they were always kind and good to me when I worked with them. There was one person with them that I did not know.
It seemed from their reaction that they were as thrilled to see me as I was to see them. When my work colleagues and I finished lunch I said good-by to them and wished them well. As we walked out I told my friends about the women from my previous job. I described the kind of work they did and told them about their personalities. It was delightful to have this opportunity to sing their praises.
The gospel from the Sunday of August 24th reminded me of this recent encounter. I thought about the groups we move in and out of for various reasons and the legacies which we leave behind us. I wondered about my old friends and the new person at the table with them, who did they tell her that I was?
To what extent did their description of me tell her anything about my desire to live a life that shows my belief that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
How does our living legacy give voice to our deeply held beliefs to those with whom we live, work and play? During this coming week I will invite this gospel to guide me both in my inner landscape and outer landscape. Let us hear Christ ask those who meet us briefly or those who interact with us daily, “Who do people say that she/he is?” And does it make any difference that we claim Jesus the Christ as the light whom we follow?