It’s easy to get caught up in the “big” Christian holidays: Christmas and Easter. However, the Christian faith is more than just two days that have been hijacked by a jolly old elf and an egg-laying rabbit. We fail to recognize that Jesus actually lived a real, human life for 30 years before He began His ministry. We ignore the fact that His ministry spanned three years, and probably encompassed more than we have recorded in the four Gospels in the New Testament. We skip, jump, and dance through the events of Holy Week, because we are simply too busy planning out our family holiday traditions that usually involve food and fellowship. We are ignorant of the truth that Jesus, after His resurrection, spent 40 days teaching and sharing with His disciples before returning to heaven. We act as though the ascension never really happened, and that the story of Jesus simply ends on Easter Sunday.
However, if we really examine the Bible and the events surrounding Jesus’ life, we see that the bulk of the story of Jesus actually occurs after the Gospels. The story of Jesus seems to come alive when other people are filled with the Spirit of Jesus and take His message throughout the world, wherever they might be. The fact of the matter is that, without the human component of the story, the life of Jesus is simply that: a story written on a page, placed in a book. To be powerful, effective, and world-changing, this story requires a human response.
In Sunday morning worship, we have come through Lent and Holy Week, past Easter, and now we are learning about the teachings of Jesus. This is not simply to increase our biblical knowledge, but to learn what Jesus taught so that we might faithfully respond. If you find yourself simply going through the motions or reading the words on the page and feel disconnected, I encourage you to think about your response to the words on the page. The words are not there simply to be read, but to be lived. Are you willing to allow your life to be transformed by the teachings of Christ? Are you willing to allow the Spirit to fundamentally change who you are into who He wants you to be?
As we journey through the next month together, we will be exploring the high call of following Christ and challenging one another to live out His teachings. If this troubles or concerns you, know this: you do not go alone! Our journey with Christ is a journey that we must make together.