Summary: This is the first sermon in a new series on The Way of Jesus (WoJ), an initiative of the Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada. this message explores the first Anchor of WoJ
The Way of Jesus - Anchor 1 Sermon - September 9, 2018 - John 1:35-51 - “I Have Begun following Jesus and am Depending on the Spirit of Jesus in My Journey”
The Way of Jesus is something we’ve been considering as a congregation for a couple of years now.
Why the Way of Jesus? Simply put, in Jesus there is purpose and meaning. In Jesus we have a moral anchor. In Jesus we have access to the throne room of God. And that’s because in Jesus is the fullness of the Godhead bodily. In Jesus there is abundant life. In Jesus Christ is life eternal. In Jesus life is overflowing with meaning and purpose and joy in the Holy Spirit.
That is why Jesus matters. That is why the Way of Jesus matters. The way Jesus calls us to live our lives matters, because He is God and we ain’t.
The Way of Jesus is a lifestyle that helps you to live moment by moment really aware that you belong to Jesus. It helps you embrace being the beloved of God. (Pause)
But for a lot of Christians, while Sunday attendance might not be too difficult. In fact for a lot of us church is just awesome. We love it.
But after church. Monday morning, and then the rest of the week. There can be a struggle. There can be a struggle to live that abundant life in Jesus.
We can feel a disconnect between our experience of worshipping God on Sunday, and then the rest of our lives.
As well, Sundays, we’re together. We’re the gathered community of the beloved, one of millions around the world that comes together to worship Jesus.
But Mondays we’re alone. Or most of us are off running around or working or in school, often with people who don’t share our faith.
And it can be hard to maintain our passion for Jesus, our zeal for the gospel on our own.
Plus if you’re human...put up your hand if you’re human...if you’re human you struggle with living in a way that honours God.
You struggle with sin at times. And it gets in the way. Sins of commission get in the way.
That’s the stupid stuff we do sometimes despite knowing better. And sins of omission get in the way.
Good stuff that God calls us to do, wants us to do, but we don’t get around to it. Both types of sin are a problem for us.
And again, it can be hard to maintain our passion for Jesus, our zeal for the gospel on our own.
Perhaps you're one of the few who is fine on your own. If that's you, let me give you a snickers bar.
The truth is, we were never meant to do it alone. Not for one second. The early church in Judea literally lived together in community.
The smallness of the towns and villages meant that people who were part of a local congregation would often see each other, meet together, pray together.
A staff member form our daycare at 270 Gerrard went to Mozambique on the continent of Africa for 6 weeks to serve in an orphanage.
She lived with the people, ate with them, grew with them. Loved them.
Then, after only 6 weeks, she came back to Toronto and experienced what sure looked like shock, as she told me how incredibly isolated and cut off from friends and family she felt.
“My sister lives in Mississauga. My Mom and Dad are in Pickering. My best friend is in Thornhill. I feel completely alone. Why do we live like this?”
We’re not meant to live like that. We’re meant to be connected to other believers, and that must be more than what happens on Sundays. It must be.
We have an ongoing group that meets weekly to learn, to encourage one another, to tell our stories of learning to live the Way of Jesus.
In a few weeks we will be running another Intro to the Way of Jesus course as part of Bridges, the church’s midweek gatherings on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
We’ll do that 3 times a year.
Why? Because we need the body of Christ around us as we grow in our faith, as we learn what it means to follow Jesus. I need you and you need me and we all need each other.
The Way of Jesus is a lifestyle. One that we’re learning together.
Now, today’s Scripture draws attention to the calling of the first disciples of Jesus. It’s a passage about beginnings, about new starts.
It’s a window into the world of those who came first, the one’s who first believed.
And you might not think it, because there’s a 2000 year difference and a huge cultural difference, but there is this connection between them and us.