Over the last few years I have noticed that when tragedy strikes, people have been quick to identify with the victims as a way of standing with them in solidarity against evil and for freedom. So after the Paris terrorist attacks a few years back, the phrase “je suis Charlie” was everywhere. As ISIS routed the Christians out of Iraq, many on Twitter or Facebook used a picture of the Arabic letter N to say they were also followers of Jesus, the Nazarene. The ‘Me Too’ campaign was built on something similar- standing with the victims against the perpetrators.
As Christians, we too are called to make a stand: for Christ and against sin, the world and the devil. That is both a one-off thing, and a daily thing. We are born again at one moment in time when we first put our trust in Jesus, but it’s a decision that needs putting into action many times every single day. We make a stand for Christ when we share the good news, when we serve others, when we forgive, when we give, and when we resist temptation, as we’ll hear about this morning.
As I said last week, our first of turning to Christ needs to be demonstrated by a public declaration of faith, whether through baptism as an adult or confirmation- and I’d love to talk to anyone considering making that step! But sometimes the flow of our Christian lives has been such that we reach a point where, for whatever reason, we want to reaffirm our baptism or confirmation vows and declare our renewed desire and determination to stand with and for Christ to ourselves, the world and the spiritual realm. Perhaps that’s how you feel now.
So next Sunday, on Pentecost Day, there will be an opportunity to do that as part of the morning service at St Nicks. Water will be available, for immersion or sprinkling. If you’d like that opportunity, do let me know. If it’s not right for you at this time- that’s ok. But let’s all consider whether, or how, we are currently standing publicly for Jesus. He stood with us: if we’re his; we must stand with him.