As we walk through these last days to our Easter celebration, I’ve been reflecting on our Christian journey of transformation. One thing that stands out is that transformation is not something that happens to us while we wait quietly on the sidelines. We are not called to be fans of Jesus – people who sit in the stands watching the action but never part of it, cheering on our favorite team or player while remaining uninvolved ourselves. We are called by God to be followers – people who have experienced God’s transformative grace through Jesus Christ and who seek to share that grace with others. Followers, people who have witnessed resurrection in the lives of others, who have experienced resurrection in our own lives and who seek to share the grace and love we found there.
Do you grasp your faith with both hands and expect that God will do transforming work in your life while you actively seek to be God’s grace in this world? Do you expect that you will be a different person next week, next month, and next year? I hope so – because I believe that when we worship and work and learn together, we participate in God’s transformation of us. When we open the very heart of who we are, seeking God with purposeful expectation, we cannot help but be changed by the heart of God we find in others and within ourselves.
And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of people.”
– Matthew 4:19
The Good News is that Jesus chose 12 ordinary people, and over time taught them to open their lives and participate in the transformative power of God’s love. These 12, as well as the other women and men who followed Jesus, were shaped and formed by their relationship with Jesus – just as you and I are shaped and formed (that is, transformed) when we intentionally seek to deepen our relationship with God through Jesus. Sure, it’s not always easy. Sometimes we fail or forget, or do things we later regret. But isn’t that part of the shaping-forming process? Thankfully, we believe in a God who loves us for who we are right now, and who uses all that we are, every part of us, to bring healing to this world. And in the end, isn’t that what we seek – healing and restoration so that we become like Christ?