February 4, 2021
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Fixing our eyes on Jesus.
It makes sense, doesn’t it? If we would follow Jesus we must fix our eyes on him. So where is he? He is at the right hand of God. Check. He is in our hearts. Check. He is in his Church. Check. Allow me to press on this a bit. How do we follow him in those places? Where is he going? To follow someone you go where they are going. How do we know where Jesus is going? Is it just something we intuit? Yes, and no. Our intuition must be grounded in something more than just our intuition and best intentions. In what do we ground our intuition?
This brings us back to our primary resources in disciple-making: the Word of God, the Spirit of God and the Body of Christ. If we would do what Jesus does, we must become keen students of what he did in his ministry among us. If we would think like Jesus thinks, we must become discerning students of how he thought in his life among us. If we would see like Jesus sees, we must become deeply attuned to what he saw while he walked among us. The Gospels are not just books “about” Jesus. They are living wells of revelation into his very mind, heart, ways, and means of living. In Jesus we see exactly what it looks like when the God of the Universe walks on the earth in the form of a human being just like we are. All of this seems so obvious to point out and yet I fear we are overlooking many obvious things. We think we have read them, get them and maybe we could use a little review but we pretty much get it. This is why we must have epiphanies.
When Paul says to the Ephesians, “Wake up sleeper and rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you,” the word for shine is epefowo. This is the Greek term from which we get the word for epiphany. It means he will reveal things to us. This is a good thing because we need to see beyond what we have seen before.
So how should we go about reading these Gospels; these revelatory accounts of the life of Jesus? Do we just flip around and pick stories? I suppose we could. There’s a better way. That’s where this Awakening Calendar comes in. It gives us a big map of the big story of Jesus that would lead us together through the host of stories, sayings and signs. It helps us read them together—living on the same page if you will—following Jesus as a movemental people—from descent to ascent, from fasting to feasting, from darkness to light, death to life, and from brokenness to wholeness. As insight grows so will our curiosity and as our curiosity grows we will find ourselves in time inhabiting these stories in our own lives and improvising on them in all sorts of imaginative ways.
It’s all about keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus. This must move from the level of wispy aspiration to ground level practicality.
I’ll meet you tomorrow in Cana of Galilee and we will explore how this works.
Almighty God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—my Lord Jesus Christ, I want to know you better. Forgive me for thinking I already pretty much know you and that is that. Forgive me for assuming I already know your story well enough. Would you walk me into your life and story in an ever deepening way; in a way where you actually reveal things to me that apart from you I would not know. Maybe I would have the “knowledge” of it but I am after the “knowing” beyond knowledge Jesus. Only you by your Spirit can lead me there. I’m ready to go deeper. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
How are you relating to this quest to move beyond mere “knowledge” about Jesus and into a much deeper “knowing” of him? Are you a glancer or a gazer? What might fixing your eyes on Jesus require of you?
For the Awakening,