Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Image and Likeness

It's been an interesting week and I fell a little behind on my Monday post. But better late than never, right?

Part of my tardiness is due to my weekend in Seattle for the Open Seattle event. It was a great event and I feel I learned a ton just in a couple short days. More on that later. But I took Monday off to catch up on rest after a busy weekend. Then late Monday I was surprised with the news that my best friend was coming in town Tuesday and he had tickets for the Cincinnati Reds playoff game against the San Francisco Giants (game 3 with the Reds being up 2-0 in the series. . . we lost, but a great game!). So I was relaxing Monday and then spent the day Tuesday with my friend.

I've been blessed over the past couple months to be able to draw some inspiration from my church home on the weekends. I knew being away this past weekend that I wouldn't be able to rely on church for my blog this week. One thing I do know, however, is that I've been priming myself to see God in the day-to-day and not just in the "big" moments. So I was actually looking forward to this weekend conference and to finding God in the everyday.

Admittedly, this wasn't just a regular weekend. . . but I really didn't know what to expect going into it. This conference is a new idea of getting youth workers (those who work with youth in a church/organization setting, whether that be paid or volunteers) in more "progressive" areas together to talk about what they're doing differently and what they're doing that is working or not working. To talk about challenges, ideas, victories, and issues they face. So it was great to hear some ideas and opinions about how to reach our youth for Christ.

Different speakers were given about 30 minutes to present with a few minutes for question/answer and there were also some large group discussion time with a panel. One speaker I seemed to be drawn to was Jimmy Spencer Jr. Turns out I went to school with his brother and they look nearly exactly alike, so that may be why. . .but when I heard him speak I knew I was supposed to be hearing him.

He read from John 17:1-4:
1 Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, 2 even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to [a]all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. 3 This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4 I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.

And he talked about the idea of Jesus having accomplished the work. Genesis 1:26 says, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness". Image - we are created physically and spiritually to look like God. We were created to be the "reflection" of God like the moon reflects the sun. But also we were created to be LIKE God. Like children will mimic what their parents do, we were created to mimic God. In John 17 Jesus was about to be handed over to the authorities and be put to death. His time with his disciples, his time to teach was finished.

What really spoke to me is that Jesus is saying in this verse that He has shown us how we're supposed to live. We should be striving to mimic Jesus! I don't know, I guess it's not that groundbreaking, but it's so SIMPLE yet so difficult to grasp! I personally feel like we as a Christian community have put so many restrictions on "being a Christ follower". What if it's really simple? What if we just got back to the core of mimicking Christ in our daily lives? What does that even look like? Jesus invited his disciples to FOLLOW Him first and THEN decide for themselves who He was. Is that invitation still extended?

I bought Jimmy's book, "Love Without Agenda", and I look forward to reading it and learning more about what this means in my life. How can I mimic Jesus more in my life? How can I live a life that reflects and acts like Christ?

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