I’m preaching on Sunday and my theme is ‘becoming more like Christ’. When I first got the theme a while ago I have to say that I was kind of stuck. It is one of those topics that seems like a gift but when you get down to it what does it really mean to become more like Christ?
I remember hearing Mike Yaconelli talking at Greenbelt a few years ago on What Would Jesus Do? WWJD? is big business in the USA. There are pens, bookmarks and keyrings. Just about everything you could imagine has been branded with WWJD? But how do you answer the question? What would Jesus Do? We need to figure that out before we can decide what ‘being Christ-like’ means. Yaconelli’s answer to WWJD? was ‘Who knows!’ He argued that every time the disciples thought they had Jesus figured out he went and did something that turned their perceptions on their heads!
So, where to go with Sunday? I’ve decided to revisit one of my favourite texts, Mark’s account of Jesus’ encounter with Jairus and the Bleeding Woman. It’s such a powerful story and I want to focus on how Jesus deals with two people as individuals. The woman comes to Jesus hoping to be healed but not to be seen but Jesus makes a great big deal about her healing, I think to restore her to her place in society. In contrast Jesus deals with Jairus’ daughter in private, perhaps for the same reason.
For me, becoming more Christ-like might be about learing to deal with people as they are and treating them as individuals with different needs. Jesus often meets people who need help of different kinds but he always seems to take the time to hear people’s story first. How often do we assume we know what people need or want without taking the time to listen?
Is listening the key to Christ-like behaviour?