Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Burying Yourself

Our 2 Day Pause this March 12-14 focused on Ephesians 4:22-24 (Message)
But that's no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It's rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.

The whole goal of the weekend was for students to embrace God's truth that Jesus came not just to be our Savior, but to be our Master. We talked about how we all need to realize that WE are not the big picture. God is the only one who sees the big picture and we are a small part of it. What we all need to do is realize just how much is out of frame based on our focus.

To try and illustrate this we took portraits of all of the students when they arrived and gave them their portraits in nice picture frames. During one of our sessions we told them to take the picture out of the frame and write things on the back that keep us from seeing the big picture or that make us selfish. Life is not living if all we do is live it for ourselves. After taking some time to write things that the students wanted to do away with from their old self (before they knew Jesus) we had them put the pictures back in their frame.

Next we led the students outside and they all placed their pictures into a casket and we actually did a graveside burial service for ourselves. We felt like it was symbolic of what Jesus really wants us all to do. We need to take off our old self to be made like Christ. This same symbolism is found in Baptism. We are buried and we are given new life in Christ. If you think about it how can you see God's picture or live to serve others if you still only care about yourself.

It was a really stretching experience for all of us to essentially bury ourselves. Its not something that comes naturally at all. It was kind of heavy too. When you really think about it though, giving up control and admitting that life isn't all about you is pretty scary