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Jesus

What does Jesus mean to me?
Jesus is my signpost – I’m not very good at navigating when I’m on a journey and signposts have to be very clear for me to be able to use them. When I read the stories of Jesus, of what he did, of the way he acted with people, of the stories he told, for me he’s very clear. He’s very clear at pointing to God – God who is generous, forgiving, loving, accepting, welcoming. And he’s very clear at pointing to the world as God meant it to be and still means it to be. That world is one in which the true values are God’s values. These values include generosity to everyone. They include forgiving those who hurt me and loving everyone, especially the people who irritate me or disagree with me. They include accepting and welcoming everyone, especially those who I find hardest to accept and welcome. That’s the world Jesus points me to. He calls it the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’. For us, today, ‘kingdom’ makes us thing of political power, the last thing Jesus would be thinking of. We might call it ‘God’s New World’.
But Jesus does more than point. He’s not just a signpost, standing still. Jesus doesn’t just ‘talk the talk’. Jesus ‘walks the walk’. When I read stories of Jesus, I see him walking the walk even though it took him to the agony and total humiliation of the cross. Crucifixion was designed to completely take away a person’s humanity, before it killed them. But Jesus was so human, and so full of the goodness of God, that even crucifixion couldn’t take his humanity and godliness away. Jesus lived beyond the death of crucifixion. And he lives still, for me and for every Christian.
That’s why I can say that Jesus is God in human form – as traditional creeds put it, ‘God made flesh’ or ‘God incarnate’. So Jesus doesn’t just point – he leads me into God’s care and into God’s way of living. Every day I fail to follow. I fall away or lag behind. But Jesus keeps on saying ‘Come on, this way, follow me.’ I know he’ll get me there.

 

Peter Rand


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