God hasn’t placed you where you are so that you can work jolly hard to be nice to people and make their lives a little bit better even though yours is a bit difﬁcult. He has placed you where you are so that He can bless people through your being present with them. So let’s expect that, and pray for that, and watch for that. That seeing others prosper through our presence will reinforce our worshipping sense of how God is in control.
‘Post-truth’ is deﬁned in the dictionary like this: ‘Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less inﬂuential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.’ It played out in politics in 2016 like this: Politicians would make a factual claim. Journalists, statisticians and others would check the facts, ﬁnd them to be wrong, and point this out. But it wouldn’t matter. Because as long as politicians were appealing to people’s strong feelings about something, nobody would care when the fact was shown to be wrong.
Last year, certain buzzwords started getting used more and more frequently in people’s conversations, on TV and in the press and social media. ‘Brexit.’ ‘Post-truth.’ ‘Mindfulness.’ In a couple of weeks, I’ll preach about a Christian response to the idea of ‘post-truth.’ This morning, as we look at responding to key ideas in our generation, we’re going to look at the concept of ‘mindfulness’ with our Bibles open.
We’ve been thinking a bit in the last few weeks about Jesus correcting and reshaping our attitudes about what being His disciple is like – and we’re going to have a bit more of it today. As we go through this, we’ll start to unpick how Sean had it wrong, how we might have it wrong, and how Jesus really calls us to be His disciple. We’ll learn from Jesus how to follow. How to tell. And how to rejoice.
So to be a follower of Jesus is to do more than just receive His rescue mission in this world. It’s to become part of the team who make more followers of Jesus, too. That’s the point of our church, or any church. Just as Jesus and His followers have made Jesus known to us, we will make Him known to our friends, families, colleagues, people we get to know. Just as we’re baptised when we’ve begun being discipled as Jesus’ followers, we’ll baptise people as they begin that discipleship journey, too.