For Lent, I am walking us through a book called Apprenticeship With Jesus. You can follow along by reading my highlights and reflections. Extensive previews of the book, including excerpts, can be found through Google Books and Amazon, as well as eBook purchasing options.
Day 3: Why Paul Rarely Quoted Jesus
– Paul only quoted Jesus three times – Acts 20:35, 1 Cor. 11:23-25, 2 Cor. 12:9
– Paul refers to us being “in Christ” or to Christ being “in us” 160 times
– Paul stressed the possibility of entering into union with Christ
– Key passage – staying connected to Jesus – John 15:1-5 (Vine and branches)
– “I do good because of Christ in me not because I read the Sermon on the Mount”
I found this chapter very enlightening as I have struggled with the apparent differences between Jesus’ emphasis and Paul’s. Recently, the topic has also been hotly debated among scholars and theologians. Moon makes a great case for Paul’s understanding that Jesus’ teachings were only doable as long as the believer is attached to Jesus and Jesus attached to them. “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” – Colossians 1:27.
Apprentice Activity: Take Communion Forty Times A Day
– Because of God’s vastness and greatness as well as his intimacy with believers, to breathe is to commune with God
– List three things that you will do frequently over the next 24 hours
– When you do these things, take a 20 second break and work through the following:
1. Inhale and say, “Jesus, I invite you to the center of my being”
2. Exhale, “I don’t way to be a Vampire Christian.”
3. Inhale, “Christ, I want a total transfusion of your life into my own.”
4. Exhale, “Live your life through me.”
The three activities that I chose were: placing things in the trash can, going to the bathroom, and being stopped at a stop light. Because these things are so common place, it took me a while to remind myself to work through the statements above. In the bathroom was probably the easiest to remember. I started this activity on a Saturday which means that I was at home. With three kids under the age of 12, the days are not filled with quiet rhythms and reflection but with frequent interruptions and distractions. This activity not only helped me stay focused on God during the day but also helped me in my interactions with my kids. “Live your life through me” became a much repeated prayer throughout the day.
What is Jesus teaching me? I am a pretty disciplined person. I set a goal to shoot baskets for 15 minutes everyday when I was in fourth grade and I didn’t stop until I was a senior in college. So, practicing the things of Jesus isn’t always my problem but doing them in the strength and power of Christ within me is something that I am just recently coming to realize. My will power is no comparison to the resurrection power of Christ working in my life. In James Bryan Smith’s book, The Good And Beautiful God, he stresses that Christians are “Ones In Whom Christ Dwells”. Facing up to that narrative in our lives is enough to change our thinking and begin to change our actions.
Are you one in whom Christ dwells? What does that reality mean for you now?