I can’t believe this is week 11 already! It seems like only last week we were all just showing up here for the first time excited about what God had in store for us. And now we only have a short 3 day week and its time for Christmas! Most of us are going back where we came from, and I think we’re all excited about at least one thing or another when we get there. I know I’m excited to see some snow finally when I get back to Edmonton!
This week we had our very own Randall Parizeau (the first of his name) speak to us about what discipleship is and what it’s not. The definition he gave, very frequently I might add, was that discipleship is “The active art of intentionally implementing the teachings of Jesus in ones daily life, which will be evident to others you come into contact with.” Everyday this week he would bring that up in one way or another at least once. It was good to hear though. For myself I like the idea that following Jesus is an art, not just a set of rules. That doesn’t mean you can just do whatever you want though, because even when creating art there are still certain methods that are proven to work better than others. At the end of the day though, its just all about walking through life with Jesus, trying to be more like him, and acting that out in your daily life. That can be a lot messier than it sounds though, none of us are perfect and we stumble a lot, but as a disciple we know that Jesus is always there to pick us up and help us keep marching forward through the gauntlet of life.
Another major highlight this week was learning about what Jesus dying on the cross truly meant. We spent a full day on it, maybe a bit more. Randy talked about how it’s the basis of everything we believe, that if we don’t believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose again then what’s the point? It really dawned on me this week just how much of an act of love Jesus dying on the cross was… It was the most brutal form of execution at that time and Jesus went through more torture and ridicule before being killed than anybody. And he did it all for us. He made it possible for us to be forgiven and free. The cross made everything so simple for us, and yet because it’s so simple it becomes a stumbling block for us. How can anything be so easy? Well it made it easy to be forgiven and enter the kingdom of God, but being forgiven doesn’t mean we are exempt from all the consequences of our actions in the past. At least from an earthly perspective anyway. We still have to die to our old selves and earthly desires daily.
This was a really good week, and I think this week was great to have before our final lecture on spiritual warfare next week. I think everything we’ve learned has been building up to this, at least for myself personally anyway. I’m excited to hear what God has to say to me next week, even though it might be a difficult week. I’d like to ask for prayer for everyone who’s going home next week, that they wouldn’t forget what they’ve learnt here and that they can stay strong in whatever their current home situation is. Merry Christmas everybody!