Get to know the REAL Jesus (2018)

By Randy Brandt (2018)
Pastor, Learn

“Will the REAL Jesus please stand up?”

This famous line is from the TV game show To Tell the Truth. Here is what I think of that sentence: even though I am a pastor and student of the scriptures, I catch myself wondering if I truly understand this strange, wonderful, confusing, and astounding Jesus we follow. It really would be nice to have a neat little box to put Jesus in that shows I have him all figured out!

The season after Christmas in the Christian church is called Epiphany. You could say it is the season when we are meant to see Jesus with clarity. January is a time each year to set straight any misconceptions of Jesus that we might have. So here are five easy steps by which you can come to know Jesus. Take one step or all five, and I believe your picture of Jesus will fall more in line with how God wants us to know him.

First, jump into a FaithBasics class. This six-week seminar begins Monday, January 8 and is designed to briefly cover six core insights of the Christian faith from a Lutheran perspective. The goal is to present clear teachings with engaging conversation to help build faith and understanding.

Second, attend the Immersed in the Word Workshop. On Saturday, February 24, nationally known author and teacher, Lois Tverberg, will guide us in a journey back in time by sharing insights so that we can understand Jesus in the way his disciples did, as they sat with him 2,000 years ago. What a unique learning opportunity!

Third, worship. Nothing really compares to the regular routines and rituals that slowly shape our hearts and minds. Want to try something new to energize your worship practice? Try the Sunday 5:00 pm casual worship with a meal and discussion! We are calling it “Breaking Bread.”

Fourth, serve others. Jesus once told a parable saying that we meet Jesus in those whom we serve. This winter, we have a new opportunity to help people experiencing homelessness by serving a meal, donating supplies, or being a shelter aid.

Fifth, care for others/be cared for. Knowing Jesus involves knowing God’s love, healing, comfort, and care through our relationships with others. At Shepherd of the Valley, we have caring support groups, and opportunities to pray and care for each other.

May the season of Epiphany reveal something new about Jesus for all of us!

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