Faith & Worship
When you see or hear the word ‘disciple’ I wonder what first comes to mind. Maybe it’s the image of someone following another person, following in effect in their footsteps, after learning in some way from them.
I share with you that I remember when I was 18 years old, whilst still doing my A levels, I also went to work at a local restaurant near to where I lived, and on my very first day I was introduced to one of the waiters who had worked at there for many years, who I immediately got along with. He was so good with the people who came to the restaurant; he was kind and polite, he never seemed to get angry and he had a calm presence alongside his very good sense of humour as he served people that placed anyone who met him immediately at ease. I very quickly realised that I wanted in effect to try be like him. So over the months working at the restaurant I decided that I would pay attention and if possible learn from how he did things, how he took the food orders, how he served at table, and how he was with people, so that I could grow into being as good a waiter at the restaurant as I could be. Thinking back on that time I suppose without really thinking about it, and without him knowing, I became his ‘disciple’.
How we might grow individually and together as a Church family in our understanding of what Christian discipleship might mean to us in our lives, is something which I have been reflecting upon over recent months. That is because Jesus commissioned his first disciples to go and make new disciples. What he was in effect saying was that our own Christian discipleship should not be an end in itself but just the beginning. If our life can be likened to being on a journey then our Christian discipleship should also in turn be likened to being on a journey too. But what does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus in the 21st century?
Some of us might be just taking the first tentative but significant steps to becoming a Christian whilst others might feel they have been on that journey for many years. Either way Christian discipleship I would suggest is something that we should be open to allow to continue to grow and deepen in our lives, no matter what age we might be. One thing however we have to be aware of about discipleship is that it is transformative, it changes us and can often change our lives. Just like when Jesus called those first disciples to follow him, their lives were never the same again.
I pray that 2015 will be a time for us individually and together as a Church family to grow not only in the language of what being a disciple of Jesus really means, but also how we might grow not only individually but also grow others in Christian discipleship.
Love & prayers