Christians are followers of Jesus Christ. We identify with the person and work of Jesus Christ. We follow Jesus in his teachings. Some of these include:
• loving God the Father (Matthew 22:37),
• loving our neighbors (Matthew 22:39),
• serving others (Galatians 5:13),
• praying for our enemies (Matthew 5:44), and
• giving to those in need (John 3:17).
The London Institute of Contemporary Christianity (LICC) provides a helpful definition for what a disciple (another word for follower) of Jesus is. It says a disciple is someone “learning to live the way of Jesus in their context at this moment.”
Learning implies we are never done when it comes to understanding who Jesus is. It also implies we are not just learning and gathering knowledge about Jesus but actually living out what we have learned from Jesus as revealed in the Holy Bible. Lastly, it is about living it in whatever circumstance you find yourself.
A good question to ask is, “How am I representing Jesus in my particular context?”
CrossWinds Community Church calls a particular context a “frontline.” Your “frontlines” include your home, neighborhood, community and workplace. Living in our context at this moment encourages us to think about Jesus’ teaching.
Let me give you an example of this. Two Sundays ago CrossWinds participated in the Lumberjack Days Parade. It’s a community event that is well attended and brings many together to celebrate the ending of Lumberjack Days. Some of it’s about remembering our lumberjack roots, but mostly it’s reflecting who we are as a community: caring and kind.
The amazing part of this parade is the outpouring of treats, gifts and prizes given by the parade participants to all those who line the streets of Stillwater. CrossWinds participated in the parade with more than 30 people handing out over 4,000 ice cold water bottles donated by Cub Foods in Stillwater.
There were young children (think 2 years old), teens, young adults, older adults, moms, dads and grandparents running to the parade attendees asking if they wanted a cold bottle of water.
We were living out Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 10:42 that encourages giving out a cup of cold water to the least of these. Our context was our community and the July 23 Lumberjack Day Parade.
Following Jesus’ teaching always translates into action in whatever context you’re in. So take heart as you are in the places such as your home, neighborhood, community and workplace. These are the places you get to follow King Jesus and be a blessing to those around you. This will make our community stronger and in return our county, state and country.
Please join us as we commit as a local church to do this as often as we can in Stillwater and the St. Croix Valley.
Robert Olszewski is the Family Life Pastor at CrossWinds Community Church.