I suggested yesterday that more signs and more worldly wisdom won't prove Jesus. We can't prove Jesus as the Son of God or as the resurrected messiah. Those claims require faith.
Like many of you, my faith was initiated and strengthened in a Christian environment. I heard and saw the virtues taught and lived. I continue to and it continues to help me believe in Jesus Christ and the power and wisdom of the cross.
Attempts at proving Jesus through clever arguments that defeat the cynic's, doubter's, or seeker's every challenge are difficult. Pointing to any number of signs about God's activity won't prove Jesus, either. Faith is best shared when the words we offer have been pre-validated by the lives we live, the virtues we exhibit.
These virtues are difficult, particularly ones most associated with the cross, which I don't have to remind you, is foolishness to those who aren't convinced about Jesus.
For those who are, the virtues include humility, compassion, love, and forgiveness. And these are to be lived throughout the week, not just smiled about on Sunday mornings. To do so requires ongoing prayer and a relationship with Jesus and his followers.
For us to assess the world and the decisions around us made in our name with these virtues in mind will put us at odds with people and policies we care about. We will sacrifice a me-first mentality for the sake of Jesus.
That's an ongoing struggle, but it's worth having because it is virtues such as these that make the love of Christ displayed on the cross compelling, if not proven.