August 23

Romans 12:1-8

Matthew 16:13-20

The Dutchman, Martinus Beijerinck, late in the 19th century, was the first to use the word virus of certain disease-causing pathogens. Since then it has become a widely-used term all around the world. Whether they take it seriously and alter their behaviour accordingly or not, people everywhere are familiar with the term.

Peter was the first to use the word Messiah for Jesus, and since then, in its Greek-based version of Christ, it has become the most widely-used designation for Jesus everywhere. But people do not always all take it seriously and adjust their lives to its implications. If Jesus is God’s Son and Deliverer as the word Messiah suggests, he is to be listened to, responded to, related to in a way that makes us different. It is to have our thought-patterns and ways of thinking transformed so that we discern God’s good, acceptable and perfect will. It is to so undergo a process of change that we do not conform to the widely-accepted patterns of life and thinking that centre on self. We are prepared to be different.

Worship is not just something to be done in church guided by liturgy or as expressed in song. Worship is the offering of the whole self, our physical existence to God – that is our spiritual worship.

  • What does it mean to take the idea of virus seriously and adjust our lives accordingly?
  • Have we become so familiar with Jesus being called Christ that we have missed the implications for our own lives?
  • What are those implications?
  • Paul, in Romans 12, suggests that Christians think differently from other people. Is this so? How differently?