What Would Jesus Do Revisited
Jesus, it’s all about Jesus. So often we can get so wound up in complications of life, work, family other people, praise and disputes. So often we can find ourselves thinking for far too long about everything when, in essence, we really need to fix our eyes on Jesus.
The whole WWJD thing came out in the 90’s when I was a young active Christian with things to do, toddler group, worship, the odd preach, alcoholics, youth celebration, mission trips. Asking What Would Jesus Do in this situation was generally a good idea, you get the impression he did most of this stuff (maybe not toddler groups) when he was walking the earth. However, it is quite a basic idea and after a while people pointed out we were sort of ignoring the Father. Were we also ignoring the Holy Spirit, considering we were meant to be filled with the Holy Spirit and do even more than Jesus (John 14:12)! Anyway, discussions made it complicated and less trendy; people stopped reading the book and moved onto another Christian trend.
Would Jesus close a church? The limits of WWJD.
I like the idea of WWJD. I used to wear the band, I dunno why I took it off now. Maybe because it was too complicated to wear as a teacher, or maybe it was a because I wasn’t a very good teacher and I didn’t want to let Jesus down by not being brilliant. I know this is skewed logic, but a logic I have heard others have as well as me. Not very helpful logic, but logic nonetheless and logic is what people like me (geeky game-playing mathematics types) are all about.
When we moved to Scotland, we were displacing from one area to another, we were living in a place where people thought we were weird, we were going to try our best to serve God. All ticks! However, we were now parents (now Jesus didn’t do this as a man, though clearly the Father is a Father), and we were coming out of a church that we had closed (he didn’t do this either). Exactly what is the right way to serve God? To ask WWJD isn’t that easy.
WWJD for introverts
When he was 12, Jesus spent four days in the synagogue talking with the elders and people in authority about what happened before, and what was to come. (Luke 2:42-48) A few years later he turns back up in Nazareth at the start of his ‘ministry’ and rather than starting with a chat and a joke says: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me because he has anointed me …” (Luke 4:16-21). On another day, his mates all decide to have a bloke’s day out on their boat, like in the old days (Luke 8:22-23). There was no-one to minister to, it was a social day, Jesus fell asleep. Jesus wasn’t into small talk! When Jesus said something or did something, he made a difference. As a purpose-driven chap then I like this about Him, I want to be like Jesus. What’s more I’m really not into small talk either. I struggle with the time after church when people are hanging out drinking coffee (why is coffee so important nowadays?) and I’m asked about how my week has been: I can’t remember. I’ve just been focussing on worshipping Jesus or telling the children about Him in a fun and informative way; I don’t know what happened this week! I also really struggle with the pick-up/drop-off of our children at school, and previously nursery. I am goal focussed, I am there for the children, yes, I might be half a minute early, but what am I to accomplish in 30 seconds? I do desperately want to show the love of God to those around me. I believe that however messed up my life can be sometimes, it really is much better for knowing and being known by Jesus. I really think that Jesus can make a difference to these people but how do you show his love: WWJD?
The small talk thing has been massively enhanced just in the time we have lived in Scotland (moved here in 2008). Social media means that those who are good at it remain constantly in touch. Twitter @Jesus is just a parody, as are others that are similar. Yet Jesus engaged with people to a deep way; his short conversations were supernatural: come follow me (Mark 1:17); various healings (e.g. Mark 5:34; Luke 7:9); fig tree (Mark 11:14). But Jesus did engage people with where they were and how they were thinking. So much of his teaching took parable form, equating current issues (such as employing workers in your vineyard: Matt 20:1-16) with the Kingdom of God. Maybe Jesus as a man would engage with people more in 140 characters or less, or use profound pictures on his smart phone, I’m not sure but I don’t think that is for me.
So what would Andy and Jo do?
After a few years, I was asked what I wanted for Christmas and I responded that I wanted to do some carol singing on our estate. Jesus is definitely up for people using their gifts and one of mine is singing loudly. A few of us went out and had a good time, singing the songs like the lyrics mean something, blessing the local community without asking for anything back. We’ve done it for a few years now.
We also figured that it was a blessing to people when we opened up our home for food. We had not been invited into people’s houses much in Scotland, but the gift of hospitality Is important and it was clearly important when we did it in London. We decided to do a pancake party, quite a family event. It went well, we have done it a few more times.
Jesus was clearly interested in people using their talents to the best of their ability and not wasting them (Matt 25:14-27); we wanted to make a difference in our local school, where our children go. Jo is quite good at talking to people and standing up for justice, she has become quite a key figure in the school’s parent partnership group. I’m quite good at chess and now run a successful club in the school despite allowing children from P1-P7!
We want to show/be Jesus to people to make a difference wherever we are and wherever we go. We are just ordinary folks trying to pioneer in simple, meaningful ways which work for us as a family and as personalities. We live here in Dalmuir, we need to make a difference here. Our contribution may seem humble but it’s our way of doing it like Jesus would do. What’s your way?
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