The Evangelist

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The High Calling of Discipleship

...Christ did not appoint professors, but followers. If not reduplicated in the life of the person expounding it, then he does not expound Christianity, for Christianity is a message about living and can only be expounded by being realized in individual lives. — Soren Kierkegaard

I remember a wise teacher once sharing insights about how each of us is called to pray. “Each of us has a special conversation that we are having with God – that conversation is as unique to each of us as the fingerprints on our hands.”

That made a lot of sense to me. Although we all have hands and fingers, things in common, upon closer inspection, we see that although we have much in common we are still utterly unique in the eyes of God in the tiniest of particularities.

I am reminded of these small but significant differences when we hear stories of faith. It reinforces my belief that the Holy Spirit moves in our lives with the hand of a carver whittling away, shaping the larger scope of our lives as bits and pieces are cut and fall away. We may have some sense of the shape we are taking in the hands of God, though we can never really foresee what God is making of us.

I always love to hear someone say, “If you had told me that I would be here with this group of people joining this Church so many years ago...I would have thought you were crazy.” To me it seems to be a “good kind of crazy.” It is a crazy that speaks of God’s hand moving and shaping and whittling away amid the details, so that in the larger scope of life there is purpose and meaning that we can one day discern, that we can share with others, and over which we can laugh with great, open hearts.

I believe that Christian Discipleship is perhaps the greatest adventure that any one of us might take in life. We often reserve that sense of high calling to our careers, our leisure, our romantic prospects, the lives we build for our children; but I believe that there is no more exciting place to be than to consciously place ourselves into the hands of the living God. My own journey, and the time I spend with others, tells me that this is actually what every human soul is searching for in life; that place where we may rest in God’s hands, knowing that the carver is shaping the wood.

In the fall we will begin a program that has taken root in England and now the United States: The Pilgrim Course.

The Pilgrim Course is meant to meet folks at the “ground zero” of their sense of belief in God and faith. It seeks to equip people to become followers of Jesus Christ in all corners of their lives. It is built from Scripture, and draws inspiration and teaching from the Ancient Church. In short, it is an invitation to deeper discipleship. We will begin with Book 1 “Turning to Christ” as we join with others in seeking to answer the question – “What do Christians believe?”

The Pilgrim Course is for anyone who would like to visit the foundations of the Christian faith. Perhaps you are living through a season of life where revisiting the sources of our faith would be helpful; perhaps you know someone who has questions and needs a safe place in which to ask them; perhaps you know someone whom you could introduce to Christ.

My hope is that The Pilgrim Course will introduce both new and old believers to the high calling of discipleship, and open doors within their own journeys of faith.

Blessings and Godspeed,
Alston Johnson, Dean

“Christianity is not a theory or speculation, but a life; not a philosophy of life, but a living presence.” — Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Posted by Alston Johnson