I don’t want to bore you with repeated references to Eugene Peterson, but Peterson has been a significant shaping voice for how I understand my vocation for pastoral leadership and teaching. He is, perhaps, most challenging and insightful, on what he says about his own working assignment in this world. Because I can’t say it any better, I simply borrow it gratefully and seek to live it daily.
“The Way of Jesus is not the only way to live. There are innumerable other ways.
I want to train our eyes and ears to see and hear precisely what is distinctive in the Jesus way so that we can make the daily – hourly! – discernments required to keep us faithfully and obediently in and on the way of Jesus…
My working assignment in this meaning-hungry, spirit-thirsty, God-curious world is to teach and preach the Holy Scriptures as the revelation of Life, the life defined and created by Jesus But I don’t find it easy. I live in a culture that is largely either indifferent to or ignorant of Jesus. I would like to recover clarity and urgency in the way of Jesus for my generation.”
I must add, that is my working assignment as well.
Therefore, I, along with the entire Living Word team, will do our best NOT to water down Jesus.
A watered down, reduced, restricted, minimized, tamed, limited, boxed in Jesus does NO ONE any good ever!
That is because such a Jesus is an invented Jesus and not the real Jesus. That is not the Jesus you encounter in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
So, who is the real Jesus? Who is the real Jesus whose Way and Truth and Life transformed the Middle-Earth, media-terra, Mediterranean World of the rough Roman Empire? That is the Jesus needed to transform our lives today, right here, right now, in York, PA. In Red Lion. In Dallastown. In Central York, East York, West York. In Southern York County. In the City of York.
And how do we truthfully, courageously, but also lovingly, graciously, patiently, kindly, gently, creatively, artistically, and winsomely share the stories, teach the words, and facilitate the encounters with Jesus?
That is our working assignment. That is what our current reJesus series is about.
It is our great privilege, our deep joy, and weighty responsibility to do this well, so you would flourish, that God would be honored, and that his kingdom would come in our lives on earth as it is in heaven.
So, as you think of us, pray for us to encounter the Real Jesus.