32 Be kind, compassionate, and forgiving to each other, in the same way God forgave you in Christ.
1 Therefore, imitate God like dearly loved children. 2 Live your life with love, following the example of Christ, who loved us and gave himself for us. He was a sacrificial offering that smelled sweet to God.
I loved watching my husband and sons perform Kung Fu kata (forms) at their lessons. As beginners, they left behind their attitudes and assumptions in order to learn something new. They would often forget or make mistakes during practice, which they did for hours, to develop muscle memory and after years they “became” the kata. You could tell this by the sound the bow staff made when swung the right way or the fluid movements of the nunchaku that never faltered. When you forget yourself and merge your focus with your activity, it’s called “being in the zone.” If you’ve performed music, played a sport, or made art, you may have had this experience. But kata isn’t meant to be done alone, it can only be learned and applied in a group.The practice is a journey, not a destination, that can then be passed on to others.
We are always in a state of becoming. As God’s beloved children, we have become new, redeemed people through the death of and resurrection of Christ. We leave our old life, with its worldly attitudes and assumptions, behind.
When we are baptized, we vow to “live according to the example of Christ” and we start the process of becoming like Jesus. As beginners we learn to practice kindness, compassion and forgiveness. We often forget and make mistakes, because forgiveness is especially hard for us to learn. For even though God has forgiven us in Christ, we often find forgiveness towards ourselves or others really hard to do. The more we learn to forgive, the more we become like Jesus.
By Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
The daily practice of learning to live your life with love is part of developing that spiritual muscle memory we need to become faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. Becoming like Jesus is best practiced and nurtured in community with others, so that we can then pass on the Good News of Jesus to others.
How are you becoming like Jesus? Where are you on your journey of learning to live your life with love? Take some time to talk with the Holy Spirit about the areas in your life where you need God’s forgiveness or the strength to forgive someone who has hurt you.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, we want to become like Jesus. We know we can only do this through your guidance and help. Be at work in us to transform us to be more kind, compassionate and forgiving, so that we can learn to live our life with love. Amen.