25 October 2008

Nothing to be ashamed of

When I worked in the City, some of my colleagues were very posh indeed. I used to do some building and decorating for them at weekends, to make ends meet. I was doing some work in Chelsea for my friend James, and he took me down to the pub for lunch. But the posh lot he socialised with were there, and I could see he was embarrassed to have me in tow. He was ashamed of me because I wasn’t as posh as them.

I wonder how Jesus feels when we’re out with our mates or our family. I hope they know we are Christians, but do we ever talk about Jesus when we’re with them? Or are we ashamed of Jesus?

In his letter to the Romans, Paul reminds us that we have no reason to be ashamed. He says, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God to save everyone who believes.” (Romans 1 v16).

A bit earlier he tells us what the gospel is about. It’s the message about Jesus. In v 2 he tells us that Jesus …. “as to his human nature was a descendant of David”. That means he was descended from Israel’s great King. Jesus is royalty – nothing to be ashamed of there!

And in v 4, Paul tells us … “through the Holy Spirit Jesus was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.” He is the most important person in the universe! If anything, he should be ashamed of us, not us of him. And yet it says in Hebrews 2 v 11 Jesus is not ashamed to call us his brothers.

Other people might find talk about Jesus a bit embarrassing, but we, of all people, should be glad to talk of him. We know him. We know what he has done for us and for the world. We know there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Here’s a sobering thing: Jesus said to his followers … “If anyone is ashamed of me in this adulterous and sinful generation, I will be ashamed of him when I come in judgment at the end of time.” (Mark 8:38) Fair do’s.

Simon Smallwood
Vicar of St George's