The real Jesus – the one we read about in the bible and not the one whose name is commonly invoked to justify all manner of violence, exclusion and judgement – the real Jesus is winsome. There is something about him that surprises, challenges, comforts and wins people. Even non-religious people love him and more often than not, are surprised by him and what he stood for.
Jesus showed us the way to the Father. John records “the Word was made flesh and dwelled among us” (John 1:14). Later in John’s gospel, Jesus himself says that if we’ve seen him, we’ve seen the Father (14:9). This was his primary mission on earth. As his followers, we are to walk in his footsteps. We are to emulate him. His mission is to become ours. Yet, in general, the church has a bad reputation. If relevant at all, followers of Jesus are typically known for who or what we are against, which may or may not have anything to do with what Jesus stood for.
There is a tremendous disconnect at work. How do we repair the breach between Jesus and our neighbours? How do we introduce our friends to the real Jesus – not the one who hates “the gays”, or bombs “the Muslims”. How do we shed the negative stereotypes of the church? How do we become winsome without being weird? How do we remain faithful to scripture and be relevant to our culture? What does the way Jesus lived his life say to our contemporary situations?
In this series, “The Word Made Fresh”, we will explore these questions and, together, we’ll discover how to connect the dots between the real world’s biggest needs and the real Jesus. We will unpack some of the best known and most misunderstood stories about Jesus and some of the ones he told. By the end of this series, we will fall in love with a Jesus that perhaps we’ve never known before and, in the process, we’ll discover a loving Father through the revelation of the Holy Spirit. As we learn the ins and outs of Jesus’ life, we will get to know him better and we’ll be able to talk about him naturally in the places we go.
We are praying that as we do this, Jesus will come alive to us and our neighbours in new and exciting ways. Jesus – the Word – will become fresh!
Check the website or your email for “The Word for the Week” – our weekly scripture challenge. At the beginning of each week we will send out the Jesus story we will be studying the following Sunday. We will encourage us all to read and meditate on these scriptures. We want to read the stories, live them and be able to share them with those around us!
Read it – Live it – Share it!
You can also listen to the introductory sermons in this series here (March 8th & 22nd).