We started a series called Reset on Sunday. The aim with the series is to explore some of what the Bible teaches about discipleship. Unusually for us as a church we’re making this a longer topical series. Each week will have a base passage from which most of the teaching will come but will also incorporate one or more other passages.
Imagine that this week a friend you gave an invite to the online carol service asks you to meet up for a walk. You agree to meet them, and early on in the walk they say I’ve done it. ‘Done what?’ you reply. ‘Well you’ve been talking to me about Jesus for a while, patiently answering my questions, and on Christmas Eve I finally realised Jesus came to save me. So I prayed, I confessed I’d messed everything up, that I couldn’t please God, and asked him to save me as I believe in Jesus. But what do I do now?
What does it mean to follow Jesus? What does it look like to follow Jesus at work, with my family, at school, in the gym, with church?’ How would you answer those questions? This term we’re going to explore some of the Bible’s teaching on what it means to follow Jesus, what discipleship looks like, but not just so we can know how to disciple others but so that we stop and examine our following Jesus.
All of us are shaped by the things around us; by our experiences, by our families, by our loves and desires, by the things we watch and listen to and read. We’re all being discipled all the time. But the call to follow Jesus is to follow him, to learn from him, to be shaped by him above all else. Not to have Jesus as one thing we follow among many but for him to be the one who reshapes everything in our lives. Jesus is to be the centre of the life of a disciple.
2020 has been a particularly hard year, but it’s also been a year which has shaped and trained us. We’ve been forced to stay home, to limit our circle of contacts, to invest more in family. Now some of those things have been good, but all of them will have shaped us. We are naturally now more wary of others, we are more fearful, we treat someone with a cough suspiciously. We’ve not been able to share meals together as church family, or be in and out of each others homes as we would normally do. That has affected us and will make rebuilding those things more challenging.
And so as we start 2021, faced with more challenging months ahead until the late spring, but hoping for a return to a new normal. We’re going to explore what it means to follow Jesus, because as life begins to become more normal this is a great opportunity to think about the new normal we want to return to. What it means to follow Jesus. How Jesus calls us to be transformed in our thinking about money, priorities, family, work, and everything. We’ve called the series Reset because it’s a chance to do just that. To stop and ask at the start of the year what does it mean for me to follow Jesus in 2021?
As we get back to a new normal what does Jesus call us as disciples to make that new normal in terms of priorities, financial goals, work, family, and every other area of life?
I’m going to blog through the series because time is limited on a Sunday and there is so much more to think through and I want to use this space to help me do that.