Becoming Like Jesus

    When Jesus calls people to follow him, he calls them to something more than heading out on a sight-seeing trip. Jesus’ call to follow is a call to begin living our lives with him for the purpose of becoming like him. Followers of Jesus watch Jesus so they can walk like him, talk like him, be just like Jesus. Over the past few months, we have been walking with Jesus and watching him with The Journey. We have watched how Jesus lives because we believe in his life we see what it is to be fully human, and we want to be fully human. I don’t know about you, but I have found that watching Jesus is not all that hard. I can easily find myself in the crowd, following along in awe of Jesus. However, when I seek to step out of the crowd and step up to his life. . .well, that is another story entirely. Living like Jesus is a whole lot harder than watching Jesus live. I suppose I could shrug and say I just don’t have it in me. No one can live like Jesus. Why try? Only this attitude misses the point of discipleship. Disciples follow to become not just to observe.

    So, how does one take up the life of Jesus? The most popular answer is we just need to try harder. If we would just discipline ourselves more we could do it. Been there. Tried that. Didn’t work for me. . .or you. So, how does one take up the life of Jesus? Maybe we should begin by asking where it all breaks down. Many of us want to be like Jesus. We seek to act like Jesus. However, somewhere along the way (perhaps in the first 5 minutes) we find ourselves going another way. We become distracted or overwhelmed. We don’t see the benefit or even the point of living like Jesus. On our worst days, we simply don’t think he had it right. We know a better way. We have the desire. We can get started. Where it seems to break down for many of us is in the carrying out. Our attempts to take up Jesus’ life are not unlike a child learning to ride a bike. We straddle the seat, pump the pedals and, after a few feet, fall over.

    Recently, a new family with young children moved in a few houses down. Their children are the age where they are learning to do things like ride their bikes. They straddle the seat and pump the pedals, and after a few feet they start to topple, but then they stop. Not only do they stop but they swing back to center only to repeat the process all the way down the street. Are they brilliant bicyclists destined for an amazing circus act? No. They have training wheels. They have something which catches them and pushes them back to center, something which corrects for their inability to ride. Wouldn’t it be great if we had something like training wheels as we seek to take up the life of Jesus? What if when it started to break down (like in the first 5 minutes!) we had something which could catch us and push us back to center? What might training wheels like these look like? I think they might look a lot like worship.

    Worship, the rehearsal of God’s story, can be like training wheels on the faith journey. Worship can catch us by reminding us of what is important, what is the point, and why it is right and matters. Worship can catch us when it all starts to break down. But for worship to work like that worship would have to be something more than a Sunday thing. Worship which works like training wheels would have to be more than an everyday thing. Worship like this would have to be a moment by moment thing. Is that even possible?

    We invite you to join us starting Sunday, April 8th as we begin a journey of discovering how worship can help us become like Jesus.

    A fellow traveler,

    Sermon Schedule
    Date Title Reference
    April 8 What Do You Want? John 1.35-38; Matthew 6.19-24
    April 15 What We Want and What We Think We Want Matthew 6.25-34; Colossians 3.15-17
    April 22 Liturgy of the Cross Luke 9.21-26
    April 29 Liturgy of Family Deuteronomy 6
    May 6 Liturgy of Rhythm Exodus 20.8-11