Say there were some future society or alternate universe in which compassion was a civil crime (“aiding and abetting an unevolved weakling”), and/or a heresy punishable by imprisonment. What if believers in a turn-the-other-cheek God were excommunicated, even oppressed, by those whose God wears armor (as if He would need it… ha!).
Or what if a historian in a hundred years goes digging into the details of your life, to see if you lived by the biblical injunction from the prophet Micah: “to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). Will that historian find any evidence against you? Or in your favor? Would Satan’s head CSI or Grand Inquisitor be able to present evidence to convict you in some upside-down court of law, a court that celebrates selfishness and hatred but condemns faith? What would that physical evidence be, that you were one of those “Jesus” people? Hopefully it’s something more substantial than some idiotic Thomas Kinkade painting on your living room wall…
Bearing witness against injustice, being as “shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” (Mt 10:16), has to cost us something, or it probably won’t work. Maybe that just action you are called to is nothing more than a firm commitment in your role on the PTA to establish a “books and supplies” fund for poor families in your community, the “least of these” as our Lord calls them. Maybe it’s a letter to your congressperson, or a decision to leave a church over a matter of conscience. Or maybe it’s some more dramatic choice to be shrewd yet innocent, like the French and German Resistance movements during World War II.
Not that one has to put one’s life on the line, or even act justly in some smaller way, in order to earn salvation. If faith is working the way it’s supposed to, we just do it, or more accurately we let God do these things through us. We listen and learn, then follow His lead.
In other words, what are the fruits of God’s Holy Spirit in your everyday life? When did you sign on the dotted line this year, to bear witness in a visible way to your own children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, that Jesus is still at work in your life and in the world?
I’m not here to accuse, because I’d have to accuse myself first. I’m just asking the question:
Are you hiding the Light under a bushel?