When a story is compelling I am drawn to it. You know the kind of story, where you have to know the ending even if it means reading half the night when you have an early morning meeting. A compelling story makes you watch one more episode on Netflix when you only had time for one, but now you have to squeeze in the last three to know how everything ends. Compelling stories challenge our assumptions, tug at our hearts, and bring us joy and hope.
Jesus’ story is compelling. Jesus’ birth is in a barn and he’s placed in a manger. His mother is a teenager who is engaged to Joseph, who is not even Jesus’ father. Jesus goes around bringing healing and hope to people, especially people on the margins and those who others ignored or disliked. Jesus takes on religious leaders because they failed to care about others who were not them.
Jesus shows the depth of God’s love when he chooses to sacrifice himself and die on the cross. Jesus redeems death when he rises from the dead. The love of Christ has no limits and should be the defining characteristic for those who follow Christ. Getting to know Jesus can be compelling.
One of the best ways to experience Jesus is by seeing Jesus at work within Christians. When we Christians follow Jesus the way we should, Jesus is compelling. The love of Christ is alive when people are cared for and loved. Jesus’ love is moving in our community when we serve one another and protect the dignity of our friends, neighbors, and even those we might consider enemies. Loving like Jesus makes him compelling.
This time of year is a good time to get in touch with the story of Jesus. I hope that as a follower of Christ I can reflect the love of Jesus to those around me. Jesus is so compelling to me, that I hope his love is experienced through me. What are the ways you see Jesus at work in the community?
May this be a time for all of us to connect to the compelling life of Jesus Christ and find a way to share his love and mercy in ways that make a difference.