Faces on Faith: Christ figures are all around us
We preacher types like to talk about Christ figures in literature and films and real life as well. Characters in stories who act in ways that remind us of Jesus. Stories of those who in one way or another sacrifice themselves out of love for others.
Throughout literature and history, there are many many souls who have made supreme sacrifices in the name of love, in service to God and others. Names you know, as well as names you’ve never heard. In fact, you can probably identify some Christ figures in your own life. A parent who worked herself to death so that you could go to college. A comrade in the military who threw himself in harm’s way to save your skin. The child who sacrifices her career to tend to an ill parent. Christ figures, men and women who take great risks, who sacrifice much for others, are all around us. And you don’t have to be a preacher to see them.
A friend of mine recently said, “You know, times like this bring out the very worst in some people, and the very best in others.” And so it is. Financial scams and fake medicines have indeed surfaced as we’ve been dealing with the coronavirus. But so have so many acts of kindness. Teachers parading by their students homes. Neighbors picking up groceries for neighbors. Musicians finding ways to lift spirits online or outdoors.
And then there are the Christ figures. Doctors, nurses, aides, and other healthcare workers who are literally putting their lives on the line to care for other people. Sometimes even giving up their lives in the process. Clerks in grocery stores and pharmacies, making it possible for us to have the medicines food we need to survive. And the list goes on. The truth is finding Christ figures isn’t really all that difficult. Not now. And really, not ever. You just have to look for them.
The Rev. Dr. John H. Danner is the senior pastor at Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ.