Ben Wamamili: To me, Jesus is a source of wisdom, strength and hope. First, He guides my interactions with people around me. I know I am not like Him, but everyday I learn to be like Him – acknowledging the power of prayer, trusting in God whatever the circumstance and treating others as I would want them treat me have been important teachings for me.
Second, Jesus gives me strength to navigate the challenges of life. I have lived in a number of countries over the last two decades. Moving to a foreign land can be challenging – making useful connections and surrounding yourself with wonderful people who support and enrich you in different ways is always key to settling in. For me, parishioners at St Barnabas have provided these connections since I arrived in Aotearoa New Zealand five years ago.
More importantly, Jesus gives me hope in everything I do. I know He always listens to me; watches over me; shelters me from harm and wants the best for me. This puts a smile on my face!
Mary Mills: I had the privilege of being born into a Christian family in England during World War 2. I was the third of four children. My parents worked hard to provide for us on very little, but I remember we had much fun and discipline! I am forever grateful to them for this. If this is what they were able to do for us, how much more does the love of Jesus mean to us?
We are told of His unconditional love for all those who ask for it. What a gift! However, just as our parents loved, disciplined and forgave us, I so often, have to ask Jesus for that forgiveness and to truly believe it. Those words in the Communion service – “God forgives, forgive others, forgive yourself” – are very meaningful.
As I have progressed along the journey of life. I liken it very much to being in a sailing boat with Jesus being the guide, us being allowed to steer the boat and enabled to tack round the obstacles and being there for us. In those times when we think we are drowning. I continue to thank Jesus for His grace and love shown to me.
Bede Cammock-Elliott: To me Jesus is the archetypal, perfect human. He is humanity in its fullness. When he said to follow him and be more like him, he was and still is calling us all into the fullness of our own humanity.
We are all created in the image of, made of and are of God, for an express purpose. Jesus calls us to emulate him and be the best ‘me’ I can be. To be free of fear and anxiety, to die to our worst excesses, to give and sacrifice generously, to make the very best of our talents through practice and commitment. To love fearlessly, to forgive, care for and encourage others to be their best. To give of ourselves fully to life with what we have, from where we are, with all of our heart and soul.
So when Jesus said “Who do you say I am?”, I say “You are the person who showed us that if we step into fullness of our true inheritance which is what I am made of, in the image of, and of God, then allow ourselves to be animated by the Holy Spirit, then nothing is impossible.
It is through living out our God given magnificence that we give glory to God.