During 2018 we made some use of a booklet titled ‘Pilgrim’ . One of these took its theme from the question ‘Do you turn to Christ?’ which is asked during a confirmation service.
Jesus suggested many images we could think about to help understand who he is.
How do these images relate to the culture in which we live?
But we also have to think about what it means to ‘turn to’ Christ. How do you do that?
Reflection for Thursday discussion:
Turning to Christ is a personal thing, but it is also a social thing.
We turn to people when we need them. But what it means to turn to someone depends on what we are turning to them for and what we see in them to turn to. Terry encouraged us on Sunday to think about the connections between who we see and the way that we engage with who we see.
Terry also encouraged us to consider the different images of Christ that we are introduced to in the New Testament. These images reflect the life and culture of the time and place in which Jesus lived on earth and also the history and religious thinking of the people he had been born into.
John 1 vv 35-42 uses several pictures of Christ: ‘Lamb of God’, ‘Teacher’, and ‘Messiah’. Elsewhere in the New Testament we hear him describe himself in other ways such as ‘The Way’, ‘The Good Shepherd’ ‘The Vine’. Do we see Christ in any of these ways? In other ways? How does the way in which we are seeing Christ affect the way in which we are turning – or not turning – to him?
Turning to Christ is also a statement of how we are positioning ourselves in relation to the world in which we live. The people described in John chapter 1 became Christ’s followers. They were not alone. They joined a group. In so doing, they changed the way they positioned themselves in relation to others. They set themselves apart from some others in their society: those who were toeing the line with the spiritual and political authorities and those were seeking armed rebellion against those authorities. They also turned themselves towards the needs of people who were outcasts from that society: joining with Christ in ‘seeking the lost’. They became part of a movement.