One of the classes I'm taking this semester is "Thinking Through Religions", a class where we learn about each of the main religions of the world in detail. We had already learnt about Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism - all very interesting lessons that taught me so much about these religions that I didn't know before. But what I was really looking forward to was the lesson in which we'd learn about Christianity. 😊
I was excited about it, especially because I assumed that most of my classmates didn't really know much about it, but would finally get the chance to learn more about it then; and also because I was sure that they would change their opinion of it for the better once they did.
Finally, the day came! Instead of showing a documentary like she had done for all the other religions we'd previously learnt about, our teacher decided to divide the class into groups and assign each group a different topic about Christianity that they would present to the rest of the class. Although I hadn't expected her to take this approach, it didn't put me off in the least. In fact, this was a much better way to go about it, I figured, since I would actually be given the chance to speak to the class and share something about my faith with them. 😉
An hour or so after the class had begun, we were all ready to present. The first group went forward and introduced Jesus to the rest of the class. They talked briefly about His life, death, and resurrection. The next group went forward and told the class that Christianity is the most popular religion in the world because it was used in the past as a tool to expand political empires. It all went downhill from there, and by the time it was my group's turn to conclude on the presentations, I wasn't as enthusiastic about this lesson as I'd been at the beginning.
For the first time in my life, I saw Christianity from the world's point of view - and it looked nothing like I was expecting it to. From the looks on my classmates' faces, it seemed like Christianity sounded like just another religion to them.
Never had I seen the importance of the church's existence as strongly as I did that day. It was suddenly very clear to me why there's still a need for people to go forth and spread the Good News - even in countries like Thailand which are not completely ignorant of the Gospel.
As we Christians know, the Gospel is powerful in itself, but it's through our lives that God manifests its power. It's by showing the world how much the truth of the Word has changed our lives - or rather, how much God has changed our lives through it - that we can have any real impact on them. I believe that God has different ways of reaching out to His people. In some cases, it's as simple as leading someone to open a Bible and read it for him/herself; but in others it involves seeing Christianity in action. I believe in the power of seeing love in action. More importantly, I believe in the power of seeing God in action through His people.❤
St. Francis of Assisi is quoted as saying, "Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary use words." I realized the truth of this quote after our presentation. In that moment, I doubted that anything I could've said to my classmates would've changed how they felt about Christianity. But I know from experience that even a small act of kindness or of love can have a huge impact on anyone.
So despite everything, I was still happy with how the lesson on Christianity went. It might not have achieved what I had hoped it would, but it definitely exposed a flaw in my thinking; and it reminded me why I'm here - or more precisely, why the church is here.💒
I find it easier and more effective to write down how I feel rather than to say it.
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