As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the lake—for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him.As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him. (Matthew 4:18-22)
Discipleship is the foundation of our Christian life. It is the vocation (or calling) that we all share by virtue of our baptism. Jesus invites each and everyone of us to follow him, to seek to be like him, to live out his teachings and to be models for one another.
Following Jesus is a lifelong process. In their book, The Godbearing Life, Dean and Foster describe humans as stones washed over by a “river of holy water…day in and day out, shaping and smoothing us into people recognizable as Christians.”
Everything we do is an opportunity for us to be witnesses to our discipleship.
In a recent session on discipleship, we looked at stories of Jesus’ earliest disciples and how they responded to Jesus. The women and men who followed Jesus were not perfect.Even though they followed him immediately, there were many bumps along the road. There were times of doubt, times of fear and sadness. After Jesus died on the cross many of the disciples scattered, thinking all was lost. Through the resurrection they regained their hope and their courage to go out and share the story of Jesus life, death and resurrection with all those they encountered.
Discipleship is a series of ongoing practices. Christian practices “mark us and make us into Jesus’ followers.” These practices are a means of grace that “God uses to strengthen us for the otherwise impossible task of living faithfully.” Examples of Christian practices include: prayer, giving thanks,acts of intentional kindness, participating in the sacraments, service, seeking justice, keeping Sabbath, and simplicity. Christian practices taken place in community, your family community, your friend community and your worshiping community.
What are some other practices you would add to the list?
What are some Christian practices that mark you as a disciple of Jesus?
What are some practices you would like to explore with your family?