Daily Lent Devotional #36 (4/13/2011)

Today’s Topic:   Our Christian Identity

Today’s Scriptures:  John 14:6; Acts 19: 8-9, 11:26

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

8 Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God.

9 But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned ‘The Way’.

26 … The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.

As hard as it may be to grasp, Christians weren’t always known as “Christians.” 🙂

They were initially known as “followers of Jesus” and shortly afterward became known in Jewish and Roman circles as “followers of The Way.”  This terminology comes directly from John 14:6, where Jesus identifies himself as the source of eternal life.  Jesus’ followers were known by this title for a while until the term “Christian” first began being used at the church in Antioch.  “Christian” translates to “little Christ” and that is truly what we are to be.  Jesus repeatedly stated that the disciples were to learn from and carry on his redemptive work of proclaiming the Kingdom of God and the Good News of his Gospel.  Just as Jesus’ embodied holy love, Christians are to carry a burden for the hurting and lost within this world; feverishly working for their physical and spiritual rescue during the brief moment of time that we live on this planet.

A great song that illustrates our high calling as Christians is attached in my Vodpod on this page (“Kingdom and A King” by the Robbie Seay Band).  No visuals or lyrics are attached to that video, just a great song. 🙂

To conclude today’s devotional, here’s some very challenging words from Henri Nouwen; calling Christians to truly be “little Christs” and to take the mission and message of Jesus to our world in with passion and urgency.

You are Christian only so long as you look forward to a new world, only so long as you constantly pose critical questions to the society in which you live, and only for so long as you emphasize the need for conversion both for yourself and for the world. You are Christian only so long as you, in no way, let yourself become established in a situation of seeming calm, only so long as you stay unsatisfied with the status quo and keep saying that a new world is yet to come. You are Christian only when you believe that you have a role to play in the realization of this new kingdom and when you urge everyone you meet with a holy unrest to make haste so that the promise might soon be fulfilled. So long as you live as a Christian you keep looking for a new order, a new structure, a new life.

The Christian witness is a critical witness because the Christian professes that the Lord will come again and make all things new. The Christian life calls for radical changes because the Christian assumes a critical distance from the world and, in spite of all contradictions, keeps saying that a new way of being human and a new peace are possible.

Blessings,

Pastor Josh

Published in: on April 13, 2011 at 6:00 AM  Leave a Comment  
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