2022! A fresh year, we hope. A new start, we pray. A chance to leave past pain and struggle in the past. But what are we moving toward? What are our dreams and aspirations, especially as a community of faith? Dare we ask what are God’s dreams for us as a community of faith?
Our theme for 2022 is “Jesus 365.” We begin the year with a journey through Luke’s gospel, picking up the story this Sunday when Jesus is 12 years old and left behind in Jerusalem. We’ll explore Jesus as a child, as an adult, as a teacher, a healer, a prophet, a friend, a savior, a revolutionary, a ruler. And along the way, we’ll keep asking: What difference does this make? What difference should this make? What am I missing? Who is Jesus asking me to become?
Will Willimon begins his book, Why Jesus?, with this description of meeting Jesus:
“Why Jesus? Because he is the most fascinating person in the world. Into my life he came, unsought and uninvited, took over and refused to go. He led me into dangerous territory. Only later did I learn this is typical. Though he is one with us, he is neither casually nor promptly known, not because he is arcane but because he is so very different from us, so difficult to categorize or to define, because he is one with God. You can know him for many years, yet never really know him as well as he appears to know you. He manages to be unfathomable, deep, ungraspable, and yet oddly close, intimate, talkative, and relentlessly relational.”
We need you on this journey with us. I suspect you need to be on this journey. What could happen, what would happen, if our love for Jesus and our commitment to his teachings were more important than anything else in our lives? I know that is a big question and quickly becomes an uncomfortable question. But it’s also very, very exciting!