This week, I am off to join youth leaders and younger members of our diocese at Youth Daze. The theme for the weekend is “Be Transformed” based on Romans 12.1-2 which says this:
As I have been reflecting on this, one of the things that pops out is that God wants more from you and me that just a head knowledge that allows us to believe in him – he wants that but for us to recognize that he wants more than that. He wants us to get into action. This becomes clear in the doxology that precedes this piece of scripture in that Paul relays all that God has done from the Fall in the Garden to the time of Jesus and how the Father has worked out salvation for his people. In light of all this we are called to live lives that are consecrated so that we can live as Christ does… not as the world demands you to.
Faith expresses itself in living obedience to the will of God in the living of everyday life. God is not asking for the impossible – because that is his job. What the Father is asking is for us to do what is possible for us to do. Why is this important? Because God has you right where he needs you to make his plan work. I can remember being at a youth conference and the speaker was challenging people to be ready to go to China and to go to Africa – which got loud roars each time. What no one was willing to do what was in front of them: to go home, clean up their rooms, make their beds, do their homework and obey their parents. No one wants to do what is right in front of them to make the Gospel heard. The impossible is out of reach and therefore easy to commit to because there is no real thinking that they will have to do it. And yet what is right here in front of us is the scariest thing we will ever do. It has impact in the here and now and on the people whom we are closest to.
For this to happen, we need to become people who put Jesus at the centre of our lives so that everything that we are and everything that we do is driven by Jesus himself. This needs to happen day by day, day after day – not just on Sundays in worship, at Bible Studies, or at Church meetings. Knowing Christ in this moment must and needs to impact on every relationship we have – even if it is only in action. And I am all too aware of the possibility of a living sacrifice crawling off the altar. It happens all too often. Becoming the person that God calls you to be takes time and sacrifice. It is not just about “getting religion” but about learning how to be holy in everyday life. It is about learning to give back a small portion to God of what he has already given to you.
Are you willing to put yourself and your life into the hands of a God who desires to give you mercy and grace, love and peace? Are you willing to come and live the life he offers and learn to live righteously? Come and learn to live your liturgy and see what God will do next in your life.