Ten years ago some friends kindly gave us their old TV. It was a large beast of a television. Much larger than our old one. It took two of us to carry it into the house and set it on its purpose-built stand. The old cathode ray tube (CRT) telly has worked well for years. The only time we could be bothered to move the TV was when we decorated the room.
As the old screen kept working, there have been many advancements in technology: plasma, LCD & LED, HD and now 4K screens. HDMI, Smart TV, USB and Wi-Fi connections. We kind of hoped the old set would break down so we could get something better, that we could connect to the Internet, but it refused to die. Finally, with money saved for up for years we decided it had to go and be replaced by something new and better.
Suddenly we are watching programmes in high definition, able to stream live off the Internet. It's a bigger screen, better sound and more energy efficient. Watching the incredible wildlife shots on the BBC Planet Earth 2 natural history programme, the viewing experience is so much improved; you realise how poor the old television was.
There comes a time when Jesus wants us to move to a new bigger, better view of himself. To see Him in brighter colours, and hear Him more clearly. It is like moving from the old CRT to the Smart HD TV.
At the beginning of a year, people often have new hopes and dreams. My prayer is that we would have a bigger, better and brighter view of Christ. The apostle Peter wrote, 'We saw His majestic splendour with our own eyes' 2 Peter 1:16 (NLT).
Following Jesus is an amazing journey of discovering more about Him. John, the beloved disciple, said that he and the other disciples were proclaiming to us the one who existed from the beginning. The first disciples saw Jesus with their own eyes and touched Him with their own hands and knew Him as the Word of life. This is the one who is life itself that they told everyone about (1 John 1:1-3).
Over the coming months in our Sunday morning services we are going to look at Peter’s journey of following Jesus. We are going to be encouraged to go further and deeper in our journey of following Christ. We need to see Jesus more clearly in smart high definition so in turn we can also tell others about the majestic splendour we see in our own eyes and know in our hearts and minds. We have spoken in the autumn term about who Jesus is. Now we want to go further and deeper with Jesus. My prayer is that seekers will find Jesus, and those who know Him will see Him more clearly and grow in our walk with Him.
While this could be seen as a New Year rallying call, I’d rather see it as a recommitment to a lifelong journey of faith. A question I would love you to ask yourself is, 'How can I journey further and deeper with Jesus?' Perhaps it is beginning a journey by attending our Alpha course where through talks and discussion you can explore the meaning of life and Christ. For others it may be determining to keeping following Him as the journey ahead seems tough. Commit to seeing Jesus anew in your prayer and devotional life. Start something that keeps your view of Jesus renewed. Perhaps a new Bible reading programme, or a fresh commitment to prayer & worship. I pray that you will see Jesus in His high definition, in His majestic splendour in 2017 and beyond.