Follow Me?

Hither ye behind me! Yep; that’s what Jesus said. Modern translations simply say, “Come follow me.” These words of Jesus were an imperative call to present and continuous action. One Greek Grammar says that Jesus was calling for long-term commitment; to habits suited to such a commitment; a commitment that would cultivate virtue leading to a certain lifestyle. Ignatius, working with this big kingdom idea, taught us to follow Jesus by finding God in all things. He and other spiritual masters knew that this meant we had to engage in practices of noticing, reflecting and discerning; learning to be steadily conscious of God, self and others.  Frank Laubach (Letters by a Modern Mystic), stands in this tradition. He writes that submission is the first and last duty of man; that we are learning to respond to God as a violin responds to the bow of the master.  He says this begins with listening, moves to surrender and finds it best fruit in a determined, resolved will to act with God. The question mark we’ve put at the end of Jesus’ imperative is both invitation and call to decisive action to take serious Jesus’ command to come follow me—and in so doing to find, in Laubach’s words, that every day is tingling with the joy of glorious discovery.

– Todd Hunter​

Season of Easter Readings: Sunday, May 18

Reading:  1 Peter 2:2-10 and John 14:1-14

Reflection Questions:

  1. In Peter’s letter to Christians he utilizes different images and descriptive terms to develop and encourage faith as circumstantial trials hit us in concrete ways. What do the images and descriptive terms convey to you? How do they foster an imagination for your identity and spiritual growth in God; your security in this life and the next? Which image or term speaks to you? Why?
  2. From Peter’s exhortation, what do you find most challenging to connect with or live into? What do you find most comforting and assuring?
  3. Settle deeply into Jesus’ words to his followers (John 14:1-14). Read the passage through a couple of times. How do his words affect you? What invitation do you sense God presenting to you with regard to your own particular circumstantial or internal struggles? Discuss these things with God.
  4. Sit with Jesus for a while. Receive from him as you meditate on his words of life and peace. Peter had stated that we have tasted that the Lord is good (1 Peter 2:3) How did that look for you in the past? Now, linger with God and taste and see that the Lord is good. What does this look for you today?

 

Season of Easter Readings: Sunday, May 11

Reading:  1 Peter 2:19-25 and John 10:1-10

Reflection Questions:

  1. Begin by listening to the Good Shepherd’s voice from our Gospel reading in John 10:1-10. What encouragements do you hear? What assurances can you grasp and cling to? What care for your soul might you receive from Jesus today as you listen to the way he describes himself as your Shepherd and life-giver?
  2. Peter expands the metaphor of the Good Shepherd to Guardian of your souls (1 Peter 2:25). What does the picture of a guardian convey to you?  How does it broaden your understanding of the kind of care Jesus invites his friends into? Considering your own past life experiences, how has Jesus’ guardianship of your soul been realized in your life? Were their times or circumstances you felt abandoned or unattended to?  Take a few moments to talk honestly to God about these things.
  3. Now, consider your current circumstances or inner posture and attitude. What are you presently experiencing externally (with work, family, personal life) and internally (stress, anger, frustration, pressure, duress or a low grade worry)? What do you do when you sense yourself suffering? Who do you turn to for help in trials?
  4. How does Peter’s view of suffering help you process and think about your own sufferings (1 Peter 2:19-25)?  Peter points to Jesus in order for us to gaze upon his stripes, his wounds, his suffering. Take a few moments in silence to focus your gaze upon Jesus. What do his wounds, his sufferings say to you? Ask him for help in your trials, comfort in your sorrows, or a change of perspective in your circumstances that you might bear up under the stresses of this life…even as Jesus bore his cross and endured his sufferings.