Jesus Christ is the supreme model of Christianity. He was sent to earth by God to bring hope, peace and salvation to all people. Jesus preached about God’s plan, his Kingdom of Heaven and his message of love justice and peace. From Jesus’ teachings of the Reign of God, the primary focus of Christianity was developed. This focus is that all people were welcome into God’s reign if they were willing to live in accordance with God’s plan of a life of love, prayer, forgiveness and service to others. Christians are encourage to model their lives on the values and teachings of Jesus and this can be achieved by recognising four significant aspects of Jesus’ life and ministry.
Jesus lives a life if prayer. Jesus frequently communicated with God through prayer; he was known to repeatedly seek isolation too converse with God, to ask for guidance, forgiveness and to give thanks. Jesus famously taught his disciples how to pray and gave them the ‘Lord’s Prayer’. Christians have incorporated this life of prayer into their own lives; at school, in families and in the wider community. Christian schools dedicate time during the day for prayer. Students and teachers often pray together to ask for guidance in learning, to thank God for the many privileges they have received in life, for forgiveness of sins and to request support for others that may be facing adversity.The school also gathers for masses to celebrate significant moments in the church year. Christians also pray whilst at home, amongst their families. The most common time of communal prayer amongst family is before meals, when grace is said to thank God for the food they are about to receive. In the wider community, many Christians gather together at churches to celebrate mass as a community. The priest blesses the people and the Holy Eucharist is celebrated. As well as Masses Christians pray together at Christian festivals, like ‘Ignite’ and events of celebration and worship.
Jesus lives a life of service to others. Jesus’ ministry was dedicated to helping others. Jesus remarkably used the power of God to perform miracles of healing that were described in the synoptic gospels, for example healing a paralysed man so he could walk again. Jesus directed his ministry towards all people he encountered and this has led to Christians today embracing an ethos of service to others. Christians in schools often help others through raising funds for a number of charities, participating in fundraiser events and donating to organisations dedicated to helping those in need e.g. Caritas. Families volunteer at charity events run by the wider community in hope of raising money and awareness for people that may be struggling with a variety of aspects in life. Community, non-government organisation such as ‘Vinnies’ have embraced a Christian approach to service just as Jesus did.
Jesus acts as an advocate for the poor. Jesus actively supported the poor throughout his ministry. He did not discriminate and was often found to be sharing a meal or talking to the poorest people of Israel. Associating with the poor and oppressed was looked down upon and when Jesus spent time with these people, his disciples learnt that it was their job as Christians to stand up for and support the disadvantaged. In Christian schools, students are encouraged to donate money, clothing and