Monday, May 11, 2015
The Third Mark of a Disciple
What a disciple does is actually true of all life, as these three idioms refer: 1. Actions speak louder than words. 2. Put your money where your mouth is. 3. Walk the talk. Like any good citizen of the world a follower of Jesus will busy himself or herself with life: The best example I can come up with to illustrate this is that of a devoted parent, whose lifetime of love is best expressed in actions rather than promises. You may recognize yourself? Probably also your parents! You give lifts to and from school, you make school sandwiches, you drop the kids off at the school tour bus at 4:00 am in the morning, you get up early on a Saturday to get them to private coaching lessons, which you watch and wait to take them home afterward, you drop the kids off at the birthday party returning at midnight to pick them up. Sound familiar. Discipleship begins at home! Follower of Jesus will in all likelihood also busy themselves in society and with social issues, things that go on that affect us all: You will serve on church projects and take leadership responsibilities, chair school governing bodies, help at soup kitchens, serve on nursery schools boards, charities, town councils, and neighbourhood watches, and so the list goes on. We need disciples here in the church, but the world out there needs disciples more than we the church do. Does that make sense to you? I believe there are two particulars distinctions that matter when it comes to what a disciple does, that significantly mark the disciple from anyone else: o Attention is especially given to the least noticeable tasks and people, and no reward or recognition is needed. The righteous will then answer him, "When, Lord, did we ever see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? When did we ever see you a stranger and welcome you in our homes, or naked and clothe you? When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?' The King will reply, "I tell you, whenever you did this for one of the least important of these followers of mine, you did it for me!' o The more sacrifice, and exposure to some kind of human pain and suffering, the more wise, compassionate and effective the disciple will become. It is said God is best encountered when we are out of our comfort zones, a little pushed and uncomfortable. A disciple does something with and in life! We are not in the stand watching the game, we are playing the game; we are not in the pews watching life go by, we are involved and immersed in this thing called life.