Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Here it is at last. The final installment of this series.


Moving into My Own Neighborhood: Part 4

Okay, so maybe this whole line of articles is getting old to you; how much can be written about moving into my neighborhood. But the truth is I keep writing about it because that is the wrestling match—one of the wrestling matches—that is going on in me right now.
I can’t help but feel that in paying so much attention to being a leader in the church, I might not have paid enough attention to actually being a disciple.
A couple of weeks ago we took our granddaughter to a corn maze. The rows in the maze were supposed to form the facial features of a duck. I’m sure from an airplane that is exactly what it looked like, but walking those paths surrounded by 8 foot tall cornstalks the face was not discernible. It just felt like…well it felt like we were walking on paths surrounded by 8foot tall  cornstalks.
Talking about discipleship can be like that. We all think we know what we mean by discipleship, but when we start discussing it we find we all have different definitions, The more we discuss the more the stalks grow up around us and pretty soon we can’t tell the shape of the maze we’re walking in.
Some of us may think of a disciple as one who knows and believes the right sorts of things. Others may see a disciple as one who understands their function within the church and pours themselves into that role. There are probably several other perceptions.
Maybe that is what is lying at the heart of my wrestling match. As I read the gospels, and hear what Jesus had to say when he talked about being a disciple or following him, I’m getting an inkling that there is a lot more to his definition of a disciple than there is to mine.
When Jesus talks about following him, he talks about things like dying, taking up a cross, being least, being last, and losing your life. It seems like what I know and how I think is a lot less important to him than it has been to me.
So, I’m here at this place of wrestling; wrestling with what that should look like in my life and to the people in my neighborhood.

What do you think it means to be a disciple? What does Jesus mean when he says, “follow me.” Any ideas? I’d love to hear them.

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