by Rev Dr Steen Olsen
When I am doing well, but also when I am making a mess of things, I bring Jesus.When I am good and when I am bad. When the Spirit of God is obviously at work through me in bringing the love and mercy of God to others, and when I fall into the depths of sin, I bring Jesus.
I can do no other. It is who I am as a child of God. Wherever I go, whatever I do, I do it with Jesus because he has promised never to leave me. Jesus said, ‘I am with you always, to the end of the age’ (Matthew 28:20) and, ‘I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you’ (John 14:20). St Paul writes, ‘I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me’ (Galatians 2:19f).
I have this treasure in the broken vessel that I am. Yes, it is truly treasure, and one day my old nature will be done away with as I stand with you and all the people of God in his presence. Even now, as I am both old and new, my new nature is my true identity because it will continue forever. While it is true that I continue to sin, the fact that I am a child of God is my primary identity.
This means that the work of the Holy Spirit in bringing Jesus into and through my life is not a reward for my obedience. Jesus doesn’t leave us when we sin and fail. He remains with us even in our weaknesses and struggles.
Jesus comes along with me when I do the routine things, not just on special occasions. We are not Christians only when we are worshipping or praying. We live out our faith in our vocations, that is, in the things God calls us to do in the world. We are parents, children, neighbours, friends, workers, students and more. We also play sport, go to gyms, hang about in cafés and engage in other leisure activities. Everywhere we go and in everything we do, we bring Jesus. That is the nature of things. We can’t do anything else. Jesus lives in us and we are in him, so everywhere we go Jesus comes along. It is an ordinary, everyday reality.