Note: I promised a set of posts to go along with a friend’s sermon-series based on my book, 10 Life-Charged Words. These will appear each weekend.
Week One: JESUS
In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.- John 1:1-5
It is impossible to talk about life – real, authentic, God-infused life – without beginning the conversation with Jesus. Jesus not only came to bring us life, Jesus is life. “Light and life to all he brings,” the carol tells us, “risen with healing in his wings…”
At the beginning of his gospel, John points out that Jesus is The Living Word. Jesus is Logos. Logos is the Greek word/idea that means, “word,” “reason,” or “plan.” In Greek philosophy logos is The Divine Reason ordering the expanse of time and space, giving form and meaning.
Jesus is The Divine Reason. Without Jesus there is no form and no meaning, not to anything. This is the idea that Jesus holds things together. This is a huge, all-encompassing, cosmic idea. At the same time, and because of The Incarnation, Jesus is God personally involved with who we are – both as individual human beings and as a faith community.
Jesus is more than we can possibly imagine:
“Jesus,” the song says, “is all-in-all to me.” I especially like that because it leaves both ends of the equation accessible. Prince of Peace; Lamb of God; Author of Creation; Wonderful Counselor; Friend of Sinners; All Hail King Jesus; What a Friend we Have in Jesus; He Walks with me and He Talks with me…
Most of all, and the central point of this post, is this: We all – individually – absolutely need to explore and discover who Jesus is to us. Maybe Jesus fills a lot of different roles? Maybe your particular experience is different and unique? That’s fine. But actually explore the possibilities and invite Jesus in; understand who Jesus is to you, and own the relationship.
From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. – John 1:16-17
To own an understanding of Jesus requires that we experience Jesus in some way. I believe it is critically important that we approach Jesus not only as a community but as individuals too. If we are to take this journey that is a “Life-Charged” faith then we must engage Jesus on a personal level and move from knowing about Jesus to actually knowing Jesus.
How about me?
My personal experience of Jesus – on this particular leg of my ongoing journey – is that of Teacher and Guide. I have this sense not so much of sitting at the feet of Jesus but of walking with Jesus, or of sitting across from Jesus at the table; not just listening but engaged in animated dialogue, sharing a cup of coffee, receiving his patient answers, feeling challenged, experiencing enrichment to the depths of my soul.
I want us to know where we stand with Jesus, and to invite him along for this study so that he will always be a part of the learning experience.
Jesus is how the all-encompassing love of Almighty God can become personal. Jesus is – as I say at every opportunity – God’s invitation.
It’s an open invitation, and it is deeply personal; I can’t imagine a better investment of our intention, our yearning, our need, and our promise for the future.
Why don’t you join us today, for The Lord’s Supper at wakeforestpres.org?
In love, and because of love – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.