Being “Christ” to Others — Michael Frost

51V89r9almL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_Michael Frost, in his book, Seeing God in the Ordinary, tells the story of a missionary he invited to speak to a public high school class in Sydney, Australia. This former missionary to Jordan spoke to the students about his work and experiences.  Initially the presentation engaged the students, but eventually, the missionary began to preach at the students and they became agitated. The missionary chastised them for being restless and uninterested. This just made the students more agitated. Some whistled and jeered him.  The missionary responded in anger. He quoted the Bible passage, “’a fool says in his heart, there is no God.’ If you don’t believe, you are all fools.” Pandemonium broke out.  Finally, Frost intervened. Frost let the students know he did not appreciate their behaviour, but he also announced that he did not endorse the abusive behaviour of the guest speaker. “I don’t think you are fools. You’re pretty decent teenagers who are capable of thinking through the important issues of faith and religion.” Frost then dismissed the class. The missionary now vented his anger at Frost. “How dare you humiliate me like that! I am a guest in this school. I am missionary who left everything to go to Jordan. I am worthy of more respect.” Frost countered, “Right now, you’re not a guest in this school. You’re not a missionary from Jordan. You’re not even a former lawyer. Right now in this setting, before these students, you are Christ. You are the closest thing these kids will ever get to seeing what Jesus looks like. They don’t go to church or attend Sunday schools. The only chance they ever get to see what Christ is like is when we walk in here to take these religious education sessions.”“So, when you call them fools and berate them for their lack of faith, you show them that that’s how Jesus sees them.

Frost then states: “Here’s the rub. Those of us who follow Christ are Christ to those outside the church.” (Seeing God in the Ordinary, Michael Frost, p. 141-143)      

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