This week, I was reading a blog post where the author mused “what would Jesus do during this pandemic”, giving me flashbacks to the WWJD bracelets of my teenage years. It got me thinking that the first way to answer this question would be to read what Jesus did. During this pandemic (and as long as it is helpful to people) we are going to release five daily devotionals a week that you can either do by yourself or with your family. They won’t be directly linked to the Sunday message each week, but we hope they will be helpful as we navigate together what it means to follow Jesus, or what Jesus would do, during these difficult times.
Our hope is that either as families or with others you can make time each day to read through the devotional, and then take some time to pray for one another, your neighbours and our world as you seek God together.
The format is fairly simple. Start by reading the Bible together, move on to our thoughts, discuss it with one another and then finish in prayer. We are going to release five each week, ideally to be done Monday to Friday, leaving Saturday to be a time of reflection and Sunday as a time to gather to hear this week’s video message.
The next few weeks is an opportunity for us to rediscover the awe of who Jesus is, but also to explore what following Jesus everyday looks like in our lives. So, the challenge to you as we read The Gospel of Mark is to look at it with fresh eyes. Read it as if you have never heard these stories before (maybe you haven’t or maybe you’ll be reading it with your children) and hopefully each day you will be able to exclaim: ‘He did what?’ and then begin to consider the ways that God with us (Jesus) shapes how God in us (Holy Spirit) transforms our everyday lives.
Here’s how the Message translation of Romans 12:1-2 sets out our everyday challenge:
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognise what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”