3 The imitation of Christ

There is no sense in imitating Christ, though this is a common idea amongst Western people. They think that 'a Christian' effectively tries to do things Christ did. But this is a harmless fancy leading nowhere.

Imitating somebody else is something adolescents generally do, with comic or tragic results, but no meaningful result. To speak generally to all and sundry, in common terms, Christ was original, unique. To copy the manners and behaviour of somebody in the hope of being unique makes no sense. Further, the details of Christ's life are so sparse, and focused so intently on his last days, that there is little imitate.

In addition, we hold that Christ was also the lord of existence, and creator of every thing, at once both completely human, and yet also completely God. As portrayed in John's gospel, Christ is entirely focused on bringing about a new relationship between God and man: in short, it is not for us to pretend to be like that.

Which is where accounts of the lives of the saints become important. It is necessary to revive the tradition of examining these devotees of God, and sifting out those whose example can be of benefit to us when we come to determine how to spend our days.

Design Jason Powell, 2020.