Christ-shaped Meaning (Lent Week 1)

Christ-shaped Meaning (Lent Week 1)

Re-Building a Christ-Shaped Life

Activity: What Can It All Mean?

Five ridiculous words are listed below. Without looking them up first, imagine what these rare words mean.  Make a game out of it! Everyone write down a definition for each word. If you’re reading with someone today, compare definitions.

  1. Acnestis
  2. Agelast
  3. Baksheesh
  4. Boondoggle
  5. Verdigris

When you’re done, look up the words in the dictionary and see what their actual meaning is. You may have to use an online dictionary because they are THAT weird.

Did your definitions match up to the real meanings? It’s kind of cool that we can just look up any word and find what it means in an instant. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could find the meaning of our lives so quickly? Maybe you’ve wondered what we’re supposed to do with our time on earth or what your particular purpose is. We’re not alone. Humans have been thinking about those questions for thousands of years. People in Jesus’ day were searching for meaning, too. Read these verses out of John 12 and see if you can spot them.

John 12:20-25

20Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. 21They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
Pair of shoes near a compass

These Greek folks (meaning they were NOT Jewish) would never find themselves around a Jewish rabbi like Jesus, under normal circumstances. In other words, They had to go out of their way to look for him. These Greek people had perhaps been searching their entire lives for purpose or meaning, and that search led them to Jesus. Indeed, Jesus does have meaning for them.

What meaning about life did Jesus have for them? It’s v. 24 from our passage. Write that verse on a piece of paper. Yeah, I’m serious. Get a piece of paper. It still exists!

As Christians, we can’t help but be reminded of Jesus own death and the new life that comes from it. The single life that Jesus gave freely makes eternal life for all of humankind!

yellow wheat growing in a field against a blue sky

What might this mean for us? We’re not called to literally die, of course. But there are some parts of our lives that might need to pass away before we can become who God has intended us to be. Some part of us has to fall away before we can fully realize our purpose. This is what it means to be truly human, in the way of Jesus.

What does this mean for you? What do you sense God calling you to let fall away? What purpose do you see God shaping you to live out? Write down a few ideas on that paper in two columns:

  1. What Needs to Fall Away
  2. God’s Purpose for You

Prayer: God, my Creator, lend me the wisdom to understand the meaning of my life and the courage to become who you have created me to be. Amen.