As people of Christian faith, our focus, our love, and our identity ideally grow out of our understanding and relationship with the person of Jesus. I marvel every day at how God gave to us his son and the capacity to know and experience him personally. I also marvel how our Christian pursuits, loyalties, doctrines, ways of being belonging, designed to enhance that relationship, often become a substitute for it. And often poor ones.
In 2020 at FBC St. Pete, as best we can, we will put a laser focus on the life of Christ, what he means to us, and what that means for us. As his people, we are called to believe and believe in Jesus. Know him and experience him. We learn to trust, follow, and share him with others. Our best selves come to light when we do our best to imitate him; to think, act, and feel as we believe he would in our given situation. Those are pursuits worthy of giving one’s life to. But it’s hard to do without looking hard at and leaning into what kind of man, and God, Christ was and is. That’s what we want to do.
Each of our sermons and services in 2020 will focus on different aspects and events in Jesus’s life. In January we will look at “His Early Years.” After that, his teachings, stories, encounters, and miracles will get hard looks. My hope is that by this time next year we will see Jesus more clearly than ever, and see everything else as though we were looking through his eyes. Now, it’s hard for this storyteller of a preacher to leave those Old Testament narratives alone for a season. So too, the early church passages, Psalms, Proverbs, and New Testament letters. But I am compelled to. Without trying to state it too boldly, this is what God has told me to do.
All over the world, there is far less trust and interest in (and more well-earned contempt for) organized religion, but there is an increasing curiosity about Christ. Perhaps that is a needed nudge back towards the very centerpiece of our faith; God’s only begotten son. For the next 52 Sundays here, Jesus will be front and center. As he should be. And as we need him to be. Come be a consistent part of this year-long community experience. Invite your friends. Engage him with your heart and mind. Be open to the possibility that Jesus just might want to bring some change to both. Prepare to view Christ in a light you never have before. Call it our 2020 Vision. See you Sunday.
– Senior Pastor Glen Money