Jesus: pioneer of pioneers

Jesus: pioneer of pioneers

As Jesus initiated newness, so he calls his followers to do the same, says Tina Hodgett

Illustration by Sophie Killingley of Perish & Fade

Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega. I wonder what you hear and understand by that title?

by Tina Hodgett

In one way it suggests Jesus encompasses everything. He is the start and end of the alphabet, all the communication of the world takes place in him, he book-ends time.

When I’ve been doing personality type tests, I’ve sometimes chuckled to myself that Jesus is that rare breed: someone who can both start new things and be a completer/finisher. People with both these gifts, I understand, are rare types.

However, if you separate out the ‘Alpha’ in this statement you can see it and Jesus in a different light. Jesus is infused with first-ness. Firstborn from the dead, the first-fruits of those that sleep, first of many brothers, first to be born without an earthly father, first to be born from a virgin, first to turn water into wine, walk on water, feed 5,000 people with a tiny initial amount of food.

You might argue that he’s the only one to fulfil all these ‘firsts’ – but he’s still the first!

Jesus also re-imagines the Jewish religion for his day, starts a new community of disciples, invents a huge archive of original creative stories and parables drawn from the familiar lives of ordinary people, institutes the Lord’s Prayer, improvises an impromptu theatre out of a boat and a beach.

Jesus is ‘the pioneer and perfector of our faith’ (Hebrews 12:2). This phrase has strong resonance with the idea of Jesus as Alpha and Omega. Jesus is full of first-ness. Firstness is what he brings; freshness, newness, life. This is what pioneering is also all about. Doing something, however small or insignificant, for the first time – in a community, in a service, in a family, in a private prayer time.

As Jesus indwells us, we have the capacity for firstness in us too. And as Jesus initiated newness, so he calls his followers to do the same.

Find out more about initiating newness in your context with a Pioneering Parishes course.

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