A few months ago, my youngest told me about a TV series he was watching and thought I would like. I had seen “The Chosen” advertised but had my doubts as to its biblical accuracy as most Hollywood attempts fall disappointingly short when it comes to lining up with scripture. He played the first episode for us during a family vacation last spring. I really liked what I saw but didn't realize how simple it was to view the rest of the season. I'm one of those who struggles with words like apps and live-streaming.
A few days ago, Devin got me over those hurdles and watched with me episode #2 and #3. Just like the fishermen Jesus called, I was hooked and had to pace myself to watch only one episode each day. After finishing the first season, I can say I'm no longer a skeptic but a true fan of the series as it has helped me to see Jesus and his followers in a new and exciting light.
Without giving anything away, at one point in the story, Jesus was questioned for the way he was going about choosing his disciples and in particular, the calling of one specific disciple. His reply — “Get used to different.”
Get used to different... sounds like anything and everything in 2020 doesn't it? Births, funerals, weddings, vacations, work, play, eating out, school, church... everything seems to now be viewed through a different lens. But what if the same could be said of how I will live out my faith in 2021? What if this is the year it is different (in a good way) for shining your light? What if MMXXI is when the body of Christ at East Hill takes steps to be proclaimers of virus free good news?!
At the beginning of each episode of “The Chosen,” a bunch of gray fish graphics swim across the screen several times before a lone blue fish is seen going in the opposite direction. After a few seconds one of the dull gray fish transforms to bright blue, turns around and keeps pace with the lead fish. Then another, and another, and another until at the end of the opening credits there are 12 additional blue fish swimming against the flow and in sync with their master.
We face the same two choices today... either remain in step with the world - oblivious to the work and the calling of the Spirit, OR pay attention to what the master is doing and follow him.
God is ready to do a different work in us in 2021. It will most likely involve swimming against the current and quite possibly in a direction we have never been before in our faith or as a church. Maybe we need to hear the words of Jesus again, “Don't be afraid; from now on you will catch men.”*