Think of the biggest change you have seen in your lifetime. Write this on a piece of paper, fold it up and place it in a hat or bowl. After a good shuffle ask each person to take a piece of paper and read it out loud. Guess whose this is and discuss.
We live in a changing world. Roles in society have changed and altered over the years, especially the role of women. We now have anti-discriminatory practice and legislation. We have lived through the sexual revolution and life as we once knew it and understood it is very different. Today we are going to consider the changes we have seen and experienced and how as
disciples of Jesus Christ, we live in what can sometimes feel like a ‘new world’.
Think about your family.
(Your discussions may take you down ‘boy/girl’ roles. Theresa May, PM, and her husband have role reversals which may help with the current climate discussions. Was the queen influential in the reversal of traditional roles? Queen Elizabeth II was part of the Auxiliary Transport Service in World War II.)
Jesus met people just where they were. In John’s gospel we read how Jesus talks about us being the branches and him being the vine. This reminds us to root ourselves in God. That will then mean we are rooted in love, in patience, in kindness and therefore our attitude will be more like that of Christ Jesus.
We live in a very diverse world. Many people in society have different values from ourselves and yet we are called to live in harmony with one another which can be difficult at times because we all see the world through different eyes.
In John 13:34, Jesus said,
As disciples of Jesus we need to learn to be loving of one another. This may mean that we try to see the world through a different lens, even if we do not always agree with the lens we are looking through. We may struggle with a family where the mother goes out to work and the father looks after the children. We may struggle with people from other countries who have different cultures to ours expressing this through customs and traditions that we do not understand. We may struggle with people who like body art (tattoos, piercings) simply because we grew up in an age where it was not so visible. We may struggle with people’s use of language which may have been considered as ‘colourful’ in the past but now almost seems to be commonplace in conversation. We must be careful that seeing others’ choices or cultural differences, the way they speak or act are not necessarily sinful but a way of that person expressing themselves. If we are honest with ourselves there will be something that we struggle with and that struggle will be different for each of us. However, as Disciples of Christ we have to follow his lead and live with his attitude towards others each and every day.
Jesus makes it very clear that we need to love one another. Our interactions with others must be underpinned by love. A song by Andrew Lloyd Webber
says ‘Love changes everything’. Our world would be a different place if everyone allowed love to underpin every conversation, every interaction and every thought.
With grateful thanks to Major Alison Thompson
Lord, in this quiet moment I ask you to challenge me about a situation that I can influence with regard to others. Help me to bridge the gap by having your attitude and your love I pray. Amen
Bring pictures of people whose lifestyle choice or perhaps the way that they choose to dress is different from yours. E.g. Punk Rockers, Reggae, people in the public eye, e.g. celebrities. Also bring a tea-light.