These two photo’s were taken by the same camera, from the same angle of the same view but they are very different because of their focus.
Where is your focus?
In the picture on the left, everything is blurred in the background because the focus is on the mug and I wonder if this illustrates what fixing our eyes on Jesus means? That we are so focused on Him that the things of this world grow strangely dim? Perhaps, a better analogy would be that Jesus should be the filter through which we see the world, that as we focus on him then we can learn to more consistently see the world through his eye and then we can respond accordingly.
The image on the right illustrates what often happens, that we can be so focused on and overwhelmed by what is happening around us that we lose sight of Jesus. In these moments, we need to spend time refocusing on Jesus, calling him out of the corner and back into the centre of our vision.
Are we being Led by our Lord?
Over the past few years I have heard a number of people in different contexts use the phrase ‘it’s time to give Jesus his church back’. If you think that this phrase seems overly harsh because you have a deep desire that Jesus should be Lord of his Church in every way then I would encourage you to consider what your church report would look like if the Angel Gabriel turned up for an
Ofsted Godsted inspection? I don’t think there would be many churches that wouldn’t have the recommendation that they need to fix their eyes on Jesus more consistently and I think that this is something that we should aspire to do more.
We are here to make disciples
At the start of the first lockdown we held a series of meetings in the Eastern Baptist Association on Zoom which asked what might God be saying to us. What we discerned together was that discipleship is about relationships more than it is about programmes and that God is continuing to call us to make disciples as part of our everyday living and by connecting with people beyond the church in new ways.
All of this will require us to focus on God as we listen to and rely on Him! As we emerge from lockdown into the new normal, my hope is that we will prioritise fulfilling and applying these principles that we have discerned together.
If you want to hear me talk about our focus and these pictures then you can watch this short clip: