Across the Pastor’s Desk: Do better to grow as a disciple
Published 9:36 pm Thursday, June 8, 2017
Across the Pastor’s Desk by Don Rose
Christians from the liturgical traditions of the faith are about to enter into the long green season of the Sundays after Pentecost, or ordinary time. This is often described as the non-festival portion of the church year.
Much of the emphasis of this long season is the teaching and formation of disciples — followers of the faith who authentically live the witness to which they have been called for the sake of the world.
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Surprisingly ,such authenticity may be easier described than lived in the world.
If asked, probably the majority of community members would describe themselves as Christian in one fashion or another. They would be able to share words appropriate to that designation. They could be moved by the spirit to describe Jesus as the risen Lord and to give some assessment of their individual understanding of the gift of eternal life to which God’s children are called.
But, in fact, these words might very well be as far as their understanding of their faith goes. This would indicate that though these persons may have an affinity to what they describe as their faith, they have little sense of discipleship and what those words mean here and now for everyday life as children of the kingdom.
To be a disciple of the living Lord is to live a life that is constantly being changed and renewed according to the word of God.
Priorities of life are no longer determined by fads and fancies of the human experience. Life is not given value and worth by any status of human invention. To live as a disciple is to see with the eyes of the master. It is to see the possibilities of the kingdom becoming realities in this world as the disciples think first of others and their needs as opposed to the satisfaction of their own wants. To live as a disciple is to trust in God’s ultimate promise to be with us always and then to live life based upon that promise.
It can be very difficult to live as a disciple in a world that continues to be in opposition to the message of the savior. It can be tiring and at times feel even lonely. It is no wonder that such liturgical emphasis is given to discipleship each year. Again and again faithful disciples need to be renewed for ministry and mission.
Steeped in God’s word and surrounded by community, disciples are continually equipped to go back into the world to be the presence of Christ for the sake of all who are in need. Everyone is unique and valued and treasured in the eyes of God. Disciples need to learn and relearn that message so that their service becomes a witness to the love of God poured out for the whole world.
God’s blessings as you grow as a disciple this green season.
Don Rose is the pastor of Mansfield Lutheran Church in Alden and United Lutheran Church in Walters.