Recently I reminded my congregation that Christian means “little Christ” and that we are called to be like Christ. We don’t like many other major religions have a distinctive item of clothing or jewellery that marks us out as Christians. Yes I know we have crosses but they are worn by lots of people for non religious reasons. Yet when people meet us they should know we are Christians by our attitudes and demeanour. But we are human and it isn’t always easy to know what Jesus would do. However the more we get to know Jesus the easier it becomes. At first we start out by simply copying him until we reach a point where we can take the initiative. Watching Jess and Teagan play made me think about what it means to imitate Christ. The two girls hadn’t met before. Teagan was about 6 yrs old and Jess is 3. For the first 15 mins the children said nothing. First of all they watched each other and worked out whether they were compatible. Then Jess as the younger one copied the older one. Wherever Teagan went, Jess went too. Teagan taped a pole, so did Jess. Teagan danced over the bridge so did Jess. Jess did not dance as well as Teagan but she tried her best. And it was good enough for Teagan.
Eventually the girls spoke and started to work together to achieve common goals. They took it in turns and though Teagan allowed Jess to contribute Teagan remained the leader.
It struck me that imitation doesn’t require language, nor accuracy, simply copying and a recognition that we won’t be as good as the original to start with. Given long enough Jess would be able to dance as fluently as the one she was copying.
When it comes to copying Christ do we give up too easily? Or if the steps are too difficult do we sit the dance out? Do we think we have to know it all first? Perhaps we simply need to start copying, enjoying the dance and know that the longer we spend with Jesus the easier it will be to become like him. Immerse yourself in the Gospels, and what you see Jesus do, you do, maybe not perfectly at first but he will welcome the attempt and encourage you.