'Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith
(Hebrews 12:2, NIV 1984)
Fixing our eyes upon Jesus can often seem more of a dream than a reality. We say that he is central to what we do, of course, and usually mean to keep him central, but how easy is this to do during a busy day? Jesus can seem far away in the lecture when a philosopher presents a view of ethics devoid of any mention of God; or when a biochemist seems to reduce the body to mere molecules.
For many of our friends, Jesus is an irrelevance. Some think of him as a good teacher, others as a divisive figure, and perhaps more still care little about him. Surrounded by this, how are we to fix our eyes on him? It is easy enough to do this when we are praying, reading the Bible, in church or at a conference. But can we do it on an ordinary day at medical school?
We hope these articles will help you see that the answer is yes! 'Fruit bearing' looks at the many things we do as Christians, and leads us to question whether Jesus is really at the centre of them – reminding us how powerful our actions are when he is. The final instalment of our series on guidance looks at specific situations, but reminds us that fixing our thoughts and decisions on Jesus and his kingdom is at the root of choosing the right action.
Suffering is often one of the most difficult questions put to us. Yet we can answer it by focussing back on Jesus. After all, he suffered more than any of us have known as he was separated from God on the cross. Giles Cattermole's article gives some clinical examples of dealing with suffering – reminding us that it is an area where our day-to-day contact with suffering patients can make our answers particularly powerful.
Keeping Jesus central is essential to all the things we do at medical school. When we discuss ethics we must (eventually) explain the basis of our beliefs – that Jesus valued people enough that he died on the cross for them, and that our response to him and others is to be shaped by laying down our own lives that he might live in us (Mark 8:35). This not only brings questions back to Jesus, but leads us to think of a practical and sacrificial response to those touched by the difficult situations that underlie every ethical dilemma.
Just like clinical examination skills or phlebotomy, we have to practise putting Jesus at the centre. As we no longer conform to the pattern of the world around us, we will be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). As well as learning and practising new medical skills in 2013, let's practise keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus as well.