Follow Me: Living the Sayings of Jesus

Added about a month ago by Ian Black

GUEST BLOG: How can we live out the sayings of Jesus in our busy, cluttered lives? Ian Black, canon of Peterborough Cathedral, explains how his new book can help. 

Pilgrimage is an “in” word for cathedrals and holy places at the moment. We look to help people become pilgrims on a journey and to enable an encounter to take place; for the building to connect with them and stir something deep within. Many who come find themselves surprised the reaction that they have within them. We might say that they become surprised by grace, by God’s gift of his presence connecting and calling to them.

At a recent meeting about cathedrals one of the speakers, Dr Dee Dyas from the University of York, spoke about how we can help our buildings work for us in what we are aiming to do. She went on, however, to ask about what comes next, at the end of the visit. Where do those who have been stirred find out more? Her suggestion was that there should be a selection of books in the cathedral shop about how to live Christian faith so that visitors who have been surprised to become pilgrims can continue as they leave.

The publication of my latest book, Follow Me: Living the Sayings of Jesus, would seem to be timely. It aims to meet this precise need – looking at how we connect the spiritual stirrings with the life we live. How do we put the teachings of Jesus into practice? After all, he is recorded as saying that if you want to be one of my followers then here’s a few things you need to do.

Based around eight of those sayings, my book looks at acts of loving service, the commandment to love, prayer, money, forgiveness, self-sacrifice, mission and the Eucharist (Holy Communion). It draws connections between what Jesus said and how we live today in all its messiness and complexity. Each chapter ends with a series of questions for private or group reflection and a prayer.

I’ve already received some interesting responses from those who have read it. One person came to see me to talk about how one of the chapters had triggered thoughts about an area she struggles with. Another has said they couldn’t put it down and found it a compelling read. 

Whatever response, I hope and pray it prompts deep thought and reflection, can be that next stage for a surprised pilgrim as they go on to live the sayings of Jesus.

You can purchase a copy of Ian Black’s Follow Me: Living the Sayings of Jesus in our online shop. Ian also writes regularly on his personal blog

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