August 27

 

Romans 12:1-8

Matthew 16:13-20

 

Pivotal Points

 

Have there been pivotal events in your life, key events in your story? It might have been your marriage, your change of job, your migration to a new country, or some health crisis. As the gospel writers tell the story of Jesus, Matthew, Mark and Luke make clear that the pivotal point in the Jesus story was the occasion when someone first had the insight to say to him, “You are the Christ.” It happened during a sort of retreat away from the Galilee area in the district around the Roman city of Caesarea Philippi. From that point on, the story leads toward the climax of crucifixion. This insight is fundamental to understanding who Jesus was and what his life was all about. The consequence for us can then be expressed in the words of Romans 12. 1-2. Once we know this, that Jesus represents both God and a transformed humanity, we hear the call to commit ourselves, wholly and without reserve, to him. Every part of life is to be dedicated to him and his way. As Paul put it, “Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.” That is the spirituality that we are called to. That’s the worship that we are invited to give. Accept the attitudinal change that this involves. A new way of thinking replaces the old. It is one in which our decisions and judgments are not simply guided by popular opinion, nor by our own self-centred desires, but by the Spirit that was in Christ, the Spirit of God. Then we need to be reminded that this gospel call does not deal with us simply as isolated individuals (as if anything ever could), but as part of a community of the committed, a body of believers. As part of that community, we each have a part to play. No one should think of himself or herself as more important than another. Each one  is important in their own way.

 

  • What has been a pivotal point in your life?
  • Jesus asked Peter to tell him what people were saying about him. If he asked you that question what answer would you give? In other words, what do people say about Jesus today?
  • What words would you use to describe what Jesus means to you?
  • What changes has Christ brought about in your life?