Imitatio Dei, or, "What would Jesus do?" (the popular vernacular), is a question and concept which has been around through the ages with the most recent notoriety reaching viral status in the early 1990's. Its intended purpose: to remind those who profess Christianity as their hallmark to seek its fulfillment from within the birthing center of Christianity itself, namely the life of Jesus.
Within a proverbial stones-throw of Loveland, Colorado there are well over 300 Christian churches decorating our landscape that ask such a question, or, at least are guilty by association. This does not include the myriad of extant local agencies, groups and coalitions considered to be Christian which are active in our communities.
What can we learn from the life of Christ and what He did? Are we, indeed, doing those things? Perhaps it is presumption that leads us to think we do, or could. Yet, the challenge remains "The works that I do shall [you] do also, greater works than these shall [you] do; because I go unto my Father" (Jn 14:12).
So, while seeking such aspirational guidance for what we do, what are we doing with the answers given? Do we clothe the Master from His nakedness or quench His parched lips? Do we satisfy His hunger through our acts of righteousness and kindness? Let us lay a finger upon the pulse of local Christianity and its expression in our communities. Is the heartbeat in the Body of Christ racing from vigorous excersise, or vaguely noticeable due to the inactivity of self absorption?
Over the course of the following days I will introduce to you our Christian commonwealth and the leaders and congregations from which it is comprised. One caviat is offered: leadership is often unrecognizable in that it comes clothed as a pauper, not a King. What would Jesus do? Perhaps the answers lie in our own backyards. Perhaps they are safeguarded among "the least of these" (Mt. 25:40).