Our Lives Revolve around Discipleship
Pastor’s Monthly Newsletter Article for January, 2013
Part 7; of a 7-Month Series on the Core Commitments of Saint Peter Lutheran Church
Disciple is not a word that us used often, in our day, outside of the church. This was not always the case. There was a time when in the arts and in the trades — even in business and in politics — those who had risen to the top of their particular area of specialty had a “school” of disciples.
The disciples would sit at the master’s feet (sometimes literally), and observe everything the master did. They would ask questions and be questioned. They would try their hand at the master’s work while the master observed, and adjusted their approach. More than that, after a certain length of apprenticeship, each disciple would begin to practice that specialty on his own or her own, attempting to put into practice what had been learned after months (perhaps years) of studying and imitating the master.
At Saint Peter, we like to think of ourselves as disciples of Jesus Christ. It is important for us to spend time sitting at the feet of our master. We study the words of Jesus thoughtfully. We pay close attention to what Jesus did, and how he dealt with people. We listen for ways in which Jesus inspired the first generation of believers — the early Christian church (the authors of what we now know as “The New Testament”). We consider how believers through the ages have understood the role Jesus wants to play in a believer’s life. Then, most importantly, we begin to practice our faith.
And what does this look like? A believer who is living as a disciple of Jesus Christ will find that practicing these five habits in life is a helpful way to develop our proficiency in the master’s work: Daily Prayer and Bible Study Weekly Worship with God’s People Monthly Service in God’s World Financial Generosity Gathering Regularly with a Small Group or a Faith Partner
To engage in these five habits of discipleship is not to engage the Christian faith at the level of theory. Instead, it is to live out among one another the grace that has touched our lives. Ours is an experiential faith. As we experience the touch of the master in our lives, we see seek to help others experience this same touch.
And while a disciplined approach can help a believer to experience these realities more richly, the discipline itself is not the goal. It is simply a way to the master; a way to keep the master’s touch influential in our lives; a way to help us live out what we have come to know.
As we become disciples of Jesus — as we begin to practice discipleship — we find that the grace of our master takes a place at the heart of everything we do. Thanks for joining us, as we grow in discipleship together.
God’s peace to you all, Pastor Dave