At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, 'How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.' Jesus answered, 'I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name testify to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish.'
(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)
Years ago I ran a large church choir on an RAF base. People came and went, and I needed to teach basic hymns all over again every year. Every Sunday we had coffee afterwards, and one week someone complained that the tea-towels hadn't been washed. No-one could work out why until Padre intervened to say it was someone who had been posted away. We all felt abashed since we had never noticed that the quiet lady who rarely spoke had been doing this for ages. All of us had to review our memories of this person whose actions spoke louder than any words.
In our reading today Jesus is walking in what was a colonnade on the eastern side of the Temple in Jerusalem. Suddenly he is surrounded by people asking him to prove that he is the Messiah - the one who has come to save God's people. His answer is simple. They should judge him by his actions: his teaching of the people; his compassion for the poor; and his healing of the sick!
Today, may we remember that our actions speak louder than our words!
You teach us that
actions speak louder than words.
Help us to remember this,
as we live our daily life,
and treat all those around us
as we we would wish to be treated.
As we think about loving other people you might like to look up these wonderful quotes by children on the subject of 'What is love?':