13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
14 “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”
15 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.
Greetings my friends!
When I was a young boy, I lived in Reading, Pennsylvania, however I more closely associated with my neighborhood; “Riverside.” Now I was blessed to have plenty of family that lived in “Riverside.” In fact, eleven of my cousins, who are also some of my closest friends, lived in “Riverside” with me. Out of the 11 cousins I was the third youngest, a fact that I remind my cousins of whenever I have the opportunity, but as a young boy that meant that when it came time to pick teams for games… I was one of last ones picked.
I fondly remember how after school all the young people of the neighborhood would get together after school to play. Football in the fall and winter, basketball and baseball in the spring. Every day I would get home from school, change into my “play clothes” and head out to wherever everyone was getting together. Not only was I one of the younger ones in the group, but, if I’m honest, I was slower than many of my peers, and I had difficulty catching balls. Sometimes the “Riverside” kids would play the kids from other neighborhoods on Saturday mornings. These were always special days as we felt as if we were defending the honor of our neighborhood. On these days it was especially difficult being one of the younger members of my team, often my role was to sit on the sidelines, watch and cheer as my brother and older cousins played.
The point is that while I played my part for the neighborhood, I couldn’t play the part I wanted to play. I often found myself “sitting on the sidelines.”
It’s not like that with Jesus. Jesus desires EVERYONE to be an active part of the “team!” Jesus not only wants us to watch and cheer the rest of our team on, but also wants us to “get into the game!” Jesus wants all of us to answer the question “Who do you say I am?” Once we’ve answered the question Jesus desires that we get in the game to tell others about what we believe.
Now, some of us may feel as if we have nothing to offer. Not true! Remember all of us are uniquely and wonderfully created, only YOU can share YOUR belief about Jesus with others. Some may feel as if you don’t know enough about God, Jesus, the Church or faith. Not true! Scripture promises us all that we each have the faith we need to believe. Some of us may not be comfortable sharing our belief. Jesus promises to be with us when we share and promises that when we are at a loss of words that the Holy Spirit will intercede on our behalf.
Jesus wants you actively playing on this team and I want to hear from you so that the entire community can benefit from your unique insights into God and how you feel God is calling you and the rest of us to live in community within this world.
So, what do you say teammate? Will you offer your thoughts and insights? “Who do you say that Jesus is and How do you feel God is calling us to live in community?
Peace and blessings,