Mel Gibson’s movie ‘The Passion of the Christ’, was a controversy at the time. In every newspaper. On the cover of Newsweek and Time. Talked about in television shows.
2020 is well underway. And there are probably some things we thought were “urgent” for this year; other things not so much.
Mostly “heaven” isn’t in our Top 10 list of things that occupy our minds attention. Maybe that could be a helpful change for us, because there’s no greater truth, than the truth of heaven …
to give us perspective in life, especially in those times when we face problems ...
to help us make it through the tough times of life ...
to help us see the great kind of life that God wants us to live …
to reduce anxieties in everyday life and show us the significance of everyday life.
Paul, writing to the Philippian church put it this way - “I’ve got my eye on the goal. God is beckoning us onward to Jesus. I am off and running and I’m not turning back. Let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything that God has for us.” (Philippians 3:14)
Lent is often used as a defined season - 40 days - to reflect on our lives in relationship with God.
As followers of Jesus, and from within a Protestant tradition, we are encouraged to do more than that: we are encouraged to reflect on the disciplines (think ‘disciple-things’) that build and strengthen our relationships with God and others, and our service in the world.
The Gospel of John tells us the story of a woman, Mary, who poured out extravagant love for Jesus as she anointed him with expensive perfume. In Lent, might we have a focus that becomes a discipline for us beyond this season, in which our goal is to live more like Jesus, focusing on what God is seeking for the world: justice, mercy, love…?"
Paul reminds the Christians in Colossae - “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God’s right hand in the place of honour and power” - Colossians 3:1 (New Living Translation).
What a great reminder for us too. Especially as we begin the weeks of preparation for Easter with it’s remarkable and unique claim, that Jesus is resurrected. Paul reminds us that because Jesus is raised to new life, we get new life too. And ultimately a resurrected life we live “in heaven”.
Scripture reminds us that heaven is God’s ultimate purpose for us and that our faith and trust in Christ is God’s way of making us ready for heaven.
God gives us the freedom to make choices. And the choices we make, in different areas of our lives, will make a real impact on how our lives unfold and determine whether or not we’ll live the kinds of lives that God has purposed for us.
To be who God created us to be and to do what God has made us to do we need to –
have the right values, and
have the right guide (the Holy Spirit), and
walk through the right doors.
We also need a team, a group of friends and a support group. Because successfully living our lives is never a one-person show. We need others to become our models, mentors, partners and friends.
It's 2020 and we are living in the most technologically advanced time in history - It's certainly an incredible time to be alive!
The world is forever changing its values and ideologies. We live in a time full of fads that come and go like the changing wind.
But Jesus is the constant. Hebrews 13:8 tells us “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” We can put our trust and hope in Jesus because He has stood the test of time. He is trustworthy.