Theme of the Week: Following Jesus
Bible Verse: “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 CSB
Scripture Reading: Matthew 4:18-22
If we want a capsule definition of Christian life and experience, we can do no better than these two words: following Jesus.
These simple words introduce us to a never-ending adventure of moving through life in the ways our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, points us to go. Our path will not be easy. However, we do not follow Jesus alone. We have the gift of the Holy Spirit, the care of the Christian community—the church—and the presence of Jesus himself as our divine companions.
The stories of Jesus calling his first disciples to “Follow me” (Matthew 4:18–22) are astounding. The record is that “immediately” they left what they were doing and followed him. We wonder why. What prompted them immediately to leave all? Did they know what they were getting into by traipsing after the itinerant preacher who would change their lives in such dramatic ways? Their decision gave them a new self-identity. Their adventure of faith led them through trials, as well as joys. They gave to Jesus an allegiance, a commitment, and obedience unlike those given to anyone else. Their response to Jesus’ call to follow is what made all the difference in the lives of the disciples.
Jesus’ call still comes to us. He invites us to respond, to be his followers, to commit our lives to him, to live in obedience to his will and his way. Our Lenten journey is a time of focusing strongly on what it means to be a disciple, or follower, of Jesus Christ. Discipleship begins with a step of faith. We move to new understandings of ourselves. We follow the ways Jesus points us toward. We experience the joys of living in Christ and of Christ living in us (Galatians 2:20). We hear Jesus say: “Follow me.”
Reflection: God has come down to us, has taken our nature, and is become one of us, that he might be our companion. — Jonathan Edwards1
Action Step: Think of how you experience the companionship of Jesus.
Taken from Living into Lent, Donald McKim, ©2013 Witherspoon Press. Used by Permission of Westminster John Knox Press.
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