It has been a heavy week, hasn’t it friend?
The past several days I have found myself fighting tears of grief and frustration.
A few months ago I wrote an article called, “What does following Christ look like during a pandemic.” In light of this week’s events, I’ve been asking a different question: What does following Christ look like NOW, in the wake of George Floyd’s senseless death? What should a Christian do or say in the midst of nationwide upheaval and protests?
If you’re following along with us in our Gospel study, this week we read about Jesus’ final days on earth. If I’m honest, these aren’t passages I look at or think on as often as I should. I always knew Jesus prayed in the garden, right before He was arrested and crucified. (I’ve always related all too well to the sleepy disciples in that story.)
But did you know, right before His death, Jesus prayed specifically for you and me?
The disciple John recounts His prayer, “I pray not only for these [disciples], but also for those who believe in me through their word…” Believers. Friends, that’s us.
What did He pray?
It’s easy to feel helpless in the scheme of what’s going on in our nation. But what if we, as Christians, simply did these two things?
To live in Christ is to be fully devoted to following Him. Jesus was our perfect example. He was both fully God and fully man (Colossians 2:9). We can glean a lot from studying His life when it comes to how we should respond in every situation.
Here are some things we know--
The apostle James describes the Word of God as a mirror. And John 1:1 tells us Jesus is the Word. When we hold our lives up to His, we will see where we need some adjustment. A quick look at this list makes it clear there are areas of my life still not fully surrendered to Him. This revelation shouldn’t create condemnation, rather it drives me to His throne of mercy and grace to change.
To be one with one another is to walk in unity. This is the more difficult of the two directives. It’s easy to live at peace with yourself (well, easier at least). But what about living at peace with other believers with different opinions, values, lifestyles, and ideas?
Paul describes the church as “one body, many parts” (1 Corinthians 12). In order to function properly, we must all be led by THE Head (Christ), not our own heads.
There are a lot of great verses on unity in the Bible, but I especially love 1 Peter 3:8-9:
“Finally, all of you be like-minded and sympathetic, love one another, and be compassionate and humble, not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing, since you were called for this, so that you may inherit a blessing.”
The Apostle Peter may have written this to the church nearly 2,000 years ago, but it is still a relevant word for us today. Compassion and humility are the grease that keep the wheels of unity churning.
What does being a Christ-follower look like in light of this season?
The world is looking for an answer, and Jesus is it.
Let us be one, and be in Christ, “so that the world may believe.”