No matter where I go, you know what sports teams I follow by my car. On the side windows I have stickers for the Cubs, Bears, and Wild. Heck, you can even see my interests with Star Wars, Disney, and Jimmy Buffett stickers on there too. You don’t know how often I’ve gotten a honk or a wave because of the stickers on my car, and some of them weren’t even friendly!
But how do people know we are part of God’s team as disciples of Jesus Christ? Is it through a sticker on the car or a cross necklace around or neck or a bracelet around our wrist? Frankly, if I didn’t have the stickers on my car, no one would know my sports team allegiances unless I was wearing a shirt. They wouldn’t know unless they talked with me or heard me rooting during a game. Otherwise they would not have a clue.
How do people know you are a member of God’s team? How do people know that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ? Can they tell by your actions, your words, the way you conduct yourselves in the world? Sometimes people might not know at all, or if they do know and you make a big mistake, they could hold it against you. “I can’t believe that person says they are a Christian” is something you might hear.
The hope is that we live out our faith in a way in which others can see the love of God through us, not only in our actions but also in the way that we forgive, love, and accept others. Hopefully people will see us not as perfect but as flawed people who have been redeemed and saved by Jesus and extend compassion, not judgment, to others just as Christ has extended compassion to us.
But in the end, the only ones who need to be reminded that we are disciples of Jesus Christ is us. We need to remember that, in baptism, we are children of God. We need to remember every time we get up in the morning, every time we go to work, or to school, or to a community event, or even to the grocery store, we go as a loved and redeemed child of God who is washed in the grace, mercy, and love of God through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Because we often forget we who we are, who we belong to, who loves us unconditionally and promises to be with us always. We often forget what team we play for and who is rooting for us, who is lifting us up when we are low, and who rejoices with us when we win in life. For our greatest supporter is our Savior Jesus Christ, who dies for us, defeats sin and death for us, and rises from the grave to give us new life both in this world and the next.
You don’t need a sticker to know who you play for. You have the cross of Christ on your forehead. You root for, play for, and are supported by God’s team as a disciple of Jesus Christ. May you live life in a way that your faith inspires others and may you never forget who you belong too.