A week ago I heard two talks on youth culture (yes, really!), and one thought in particular has stayed with me. The speaker was talking about the importance of encouraging young people to ‘Choose Jesus.’ Following Jesus, now more than ever, is a deliberate choice. No-one is simply going to drift into following him. The culture is too disinterested or even hostile for that to happen.
It made me realise that this is true for all of us and not only for young people. And it is true not only when we first give our lives to Christ, but in every moment of every day. When Jesus called Matthew to be his disciple and said “Follow me” (Matthew 9:9) I don’t think he had anything less than 24/7/365 in mind. In every situation and at every moment Jesus is saying: “Choose me.”
Of course, we will need to work out whether he is worth following. I think the fact that he died for my sins and rose again from the dead gives him the qualifications, but you’ll need to work that out for yourself. Even having decided that I want to ‘choose Jesus’ and follow him doesn’t make it easy to work out what that looks like in a given situation: when the coffee has run out, when I can’t sleep, when the kids are SO annoying, when I get the diagnosis I dreaded, when I’m offered a promotion, when I receive an unexpected gift of money, when I get some time off at last. But I can know that it will be both right (because he rose from the dead) and good (because he died for my sins) to choose him.
Yours warmly, in Christ,
Chris Hobbs (Senior Minister/Vicar)