Jesus called out to them, "Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!"
Jesus invites us to acknowledge the presence and power of God's kingdom. He urges us to think and live in a new key. But the center of his invitation is essentially personal: Come, follow me! This isn't just a summons to a new belief or a new way of living. It's a call to be with Jesus, to hang out with him, to learn from him, to share life with him.
So how can we follow Jesus, given the fact that he is no longer with us in the flesh? To begin, we follow him by acknowledging him as Savior and Lord, and by entering into relationship with him by grace through faith. We come to Jesus "just as we are," trusting him to forgive us and forge an unbreakable relationship with us. Then, in the context of such a new covenant with Jesus, we enjoy his presence through prayer, Scripture reading, worship, and service in the world. When we reach out to others with the love of Jesus, whether at church or work or on the soccer field, we experience his fellowship.
Jesus also makes himself known to us through his people. When his disciples gather together, he is there. Our sisters and brothers in Christ are his tangible presence in our lives. Thus, following Jesus means regular, intimate fellowship with his people.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Is your Christian life first and foremost a matter of following Jesus? How do you spend time with Christ? How might you get to know him better?
PRAYER: What an honor, Lord, to be invited to follow you! Sometimes it astounds me to think that you want, not only my faith and my obedience, but also my friendship.
May I follow you faithfully, gracious Lord, in my times of devotion and in my hours at work, in my quiet moments and in my rejoicing. Help me to be aware of your presence, whether I'm reflecting on your Word or serving you in the world. As I follow you, Lord, may you catch people for your kingdom through me. Draw others to yourself as I live in consistent fellowship with you. Amen.
A Note from Mark:
I would like to invite you to join me at Laity Lodge this summer. Several of our retreats are full, but some still have room. I will be present at all summer retreats, and will be speaking at the June 5-8 retreat along with Marva Dawn. For more information, check out the Laity Lodge website.
I hope to see you at Laity Lodge!