Posted by: Jo | January 9, 2015

Imitating Christ

“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

(Ephesians 5:1)

image A friend sent me a delightful video just recently of a dear little girl only about 2 or 3 years old, standing on a high platform behind an adult choir and apparently watching the conductor as he/ she was encouraging the singers with extravagant hand movements, coaxing the very best performance from each member. We couldn’t see the conductor, but the little girl’s imitation of this leader was astounding. She appeared to be oblivious of the person filming, as her little body swayed , her arms flayed, her lips pursed to signify quieter, finger pressed against her mouth, she pointed dramatically as if to certain soloists and finished with a flourish of hands raised high and a dramatic lowering of her head. A perfect imitation of the one she was watching.

Five hundred years ago a devoted monk wrote, still relevant today, a powerful message about imitating, in a devotional handbook designed to be a guide to the true spiritual life. His name was Thomas A Kempis and the name of the book was “The Imitation Of Christ”, it was composed of four books and has never gone out of print. He was advocating, that to truly live a Christ like life, we needed to, just like my little girl example, keep our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus.image

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)

Imitating others is a basic human characteristic and we know that babies learn from imitating their parents. Imitating well known persons is also widely known and comedians have been using this skill for years to entertain audiences. To imitate anyone necessitates getting to know every detail about that person, studying voice tones, body movements etc. Thomas A Kempis was emphasising in his devotional, that to follow Jesus we needed to learn everything about how Jesus lived his time on earth. He was and is the perfect example for us to imitate.

I often read in the media, advice for young people to choose a “role model” to follow, unfortunately these role models are sometimes football players, film stars, etc. who are all of course fallible as we all are and can so easily disappoint. Paul was worried about the young Philippian church and I think wrote a beautiful exposition of imitating Christ helping them to keep focused on him.

“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship from the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in Spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility imageconsider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:1 – 5)

Striving to have the same attitude as that of Jesus is a great way to imitate him.

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Responses

  1. How timely your thoughts, Jo. As we learn all the sad news of acts of terror in the world, we must try to imitate Jesus and respond as he would have. Not easy – but it is the only way.
    Best wishes – Jo

    Like

  2. Really good reminders here Mum. Thanks for the blog.

    Like


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