Are we moving toward Jesus,
the peaceful One?
The 2021 guiding question is the same as the question suggested for 2020: Are we moving toward Jesus, the peaceful One? President Steve Veazey encourages the church to continue considering and meditating on the question in this video: 2021 Guiding Question.
The question was first posed by President Veazey in his closing sermon for the 2019 World Conference. The question was presented in early 2020 with a video recording of those comments: 2020 Guiding Question.
The question puts the responsibility for our relationship with Jesus directly with each of us. I feel that there is a call to movement presented for us. A call to change. A call to do better.
We are often presented with the challenge to “follow Jesus.” This is a good challenge and you could certainly do worse than finding ways to follow Jesus. You follow and you do what he says to do. You follow and you try to live the way he tells you to live. You follow and you watch and learn as you hear him speak through the words of scripture. If you are diligent in following Jesus in your personal prayer and meditation life, perhaps you will hear Jesus’ still small voice speak to you to encourage you to continue following him.
For me, the call to “move toward Jesus” is not quite the same as “following” him. To move towards Jesus might involve overcoming some obstacles to get closer to him. To move towards Jesus might mean getting further away from some less positive influences in our lives. To move towards Jesus might require that we set our compass accordingly and find our way despite the twists and turns of life and those temptations that will distract us from our goal.
Interestingly, the question suggests “moving toward” – it does not assume that we will actually closely approach him or suggest that our movement will necessarily end. We are just challenged to move toward him.
And then there are those last three words: “the peaceful One.” Inherent in those words is the challenge for us to move towards peace in our own lives. For many people this may be as great a challenge as thinking about moving towards Jesus. They also echo the challenge of the peace-related motions on non-violence passed by the 2019 World Conference and the words point us towards preparation for further discussion of peace and non-violence at the next World Conference, now postponed to 2023.
The church has created a series of resources built around this challenge. They include a series of articles in the “Herald” (the church magazine), supporting videos and online discussion sessions, and some Project Zion Podcasts. If you are interested, you can find a comprehensive list of links to these resources here: Guiding Question Page of Resources
I challenge you to consider studying the question and considering your own personal response through this year. I will try to come back to this question regularly through the rest of this year, just to check in and see how you are doing.
If you have any comment or question about this weekly message, please do not hesitate to contact me using the email address provided below.
As always, I pray for you God’s blessings of joy, hope, love, and peace in these challenging times.
Canada West Mission Centre President
community of christ
355 Elmira Road North, Unit 129
Guelph, ON N1K 1S5 Canada
Canada West Mission: 877-411-2632
Canada East Mission: 888-411-7537