I’m a Christian Despite…despite challenges within the Church and the World
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. ‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. ‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
I have struggled to understand why I remain a Christian despite so much that seems to make mockery of all that Christianity stands for. A world in which slander, malice and deceit are the order of the day; where issues of race, sex, and colour should have been consigned to history if we were true to the Gospel.
One of Beatitudes, however, changed my view of things completely. “Blessed are the peacemakers…” I find relevance and meaning here. I realised that my calling was to start making bridges and raise consciousness for people to live for the greater good and make this world a better place. This is what I believe God is calling us to do and it gives me a reason to remain Christian.
The question now is what are you doing as Christians in your situations? Are you building bridges and making peace, or you are just looking and walking away in silence? Jesus is looking for people to get involved, to get their hands dirty, and even to soil their image in order to make peace. This means confronting the issues, getting involved where others are saying, ‘let sleeping dogs lie.’ Peace-making is never like that. It’s waking those dogs up, ensuring that they get along well with those that they once threatened. We all have a job to make this world a better place.
Making peace comes with a price. Jesus was left hanging so that God could relate to his people. When Jesus came to reconcile the world to God, he said, ‘For this, I am willing to die.” God, therefore, looks for people willing to say ‘I would die for racism to end.’ What are we doing with our situation then? Are we making peace, or not? Are we sacrificing our all to make peace where there is no peace? God is giving us reason to remain Christians in a corrupt and compromised world.
I count myself blessed for remaining Christian despite challenges. Quitting is no option for me. I need to start making a difference by making peace where there is no peace. Remember its people like this who qualify to be called children of God. I therefore remain a proud Christian despite all the challenges.
Father, thank you for your listening presence Help us as we go through dangers for which we do not feel prepared for. We walk unknown paths, whose end we do not see clearly. Let us break bread together in the Lord Give us faith to walk with courage. Allow us to remain loyal following you all the way through, playing our part to make this world a better place, trusting and believing that you will always guide and to sustain us. Amen.
The Rev’d Wilbert Sayimani is the minister of Richmond St Andrew’s URC in Bournemouth.