Do What You Know You Should Do
Today a Saint John’s teacher looked at her students as they were preparing for lunch
and, after fielding multiple questions that she’s answered 100 times before,
said, “Look, just go do what you know you should do.”
I heard Jesus’ words in her statement. There were times Jesus looked at his
disciples and gave very specific instructions, such as, “Take nothing on your
journey, no bag, no purse, no bread, no money. Eat what they feed you. Stay
where they invite you to stay.” At other times, Jesus gave broad instructions:
“Go and do likewise… Treat others like you’d like to be treated... Love as you
are loved; forgive as you are forgiven.”
A story in today’s headlines is about an atheist who became a believer. Patrick
Greene, while a proselytizing atheist, threatened a lawsuit to remove a Nativity
scene from in front of a county court house. He later found that he had a
progressive eye condition that would eventually rob him of his sight. In an
event that probably seems curious to non-believers, because of his illness, he
dropped his threats against those who maintained the Nativity scene. In
response, members of the Sand Springs Baptist Church showed their Christian
kindness by praying for him and raising the thousands of dollars Greene needed
for eye surgery. Because of their kindness, and their willingness to pray for
someone many would consider an enemy, Patrick became a believer. The church had
done what they knew they should be doing.
There is more to the story. Mr. Greene purchased a star to go on top of a Christmas
tree and also wrote to the Freedom From Religion Foundation disputing their
legal arguments against the Nativity scene. Internet rumors that Patrick has
since rescinded his belief are circulating but that is not important to me. What
makes this story come alive to this priest is the fact that a group of
Christians did what we do best – they forgave and prayed.
This story was a breath of fresh air compared to how Christianity has been treated in
the news lately. I am enthused when Christians act Christian. Stories of another
Baptist church in Kansas that holds up vulgar signs at funerals of soldiers turn
my stomach. Such things get the attention of the media.
But as the old hymn goes, “They’ll know we are Christians by our love," not by how
often we are in the media spot light. The love that Christians can show is
generally not noticed by most people. Yet, person by person, act of love by act
of love, doing what we know we should be doing – those things define the Jesus
movement in the 21 century.
May we all have the courage to do what we know to do this very
- Fr. Marshall
Comments are closed.