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​

Ordinary Time Readings: Sunday, August 17

Reading: Genesis 12:1-5 and Matthew 9:35-38

  1. As you read and reflect on Genesis 12:1-5, what do you discover about God’s truest intention for all humanity?
  2. What do you discover about God’s intention for a generative kind of life (living beyond ourselves, creative fruitfulness) from God’s specific invitation to Abraham?
  3. In what ways do you sense God inviting you into a deeper or richer experience of generative blessing; both personally and as a source of blessing to others? How is this being realized in your relationships? Your work? Your pleasures and social activities?
  4. As you read the Gospel account in Matthew 9:35-38, what do you discern about Jesus’ character and calling on earth? What invitations do you sense him presenting to you today? Spend moments in prayer asking for a heart of compassion to see the multitudes as he does: harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Talk to God about generative (creative) ways you might be involved in his work on earth: going to the sick, the afflicted, the harassed, the helpless with the good news of God’s redemptive love.

Ordinary Time Readings: Sunday, August 10

Reading: Isaiah 6:1-8 and Matthew 11:28-30

Holy Trinity Church departs from our Ordinary Time Readings in Genesis this week due to an Ordination Service with Guest Speaker: The Rev. Canon Dr. Ashley Null. The readings for the service were selected by Dr. Null to compliment the Ordination.

  1. Isaiah 6:1-8 is both a lively and sensory scene. Take some moments to look, listen, imagine the drama around the throne of God. What draws you in; what repels you? What makes you wonder? What comforts or challenges you? The prophet experiences thorough moments of self-awareness while in the presence of God. Talk to God about the things you sense about yourself: what’s going on in your thoughts and/or heart? Is there something to confess? Is there something troubling you?
  2. There is a two-fold invitation from God in Isaiah 6:1-8: for cleansing (or preparing) and for commissioning (or sending). If God were speaking to you what might he be saying? What might he be asking of you? Where or to whom might he want to send you? How would you respond?
  3. Jesus speaks comforting words to those he has chosen to follow him. Sit with Jesus as you hear his words of invitation in Matthew 11:28-30. Is there something you’d like to say to Jesus? Is there something you’d like to ask him? Is there something you just need to receive from him for your life and all that occupies you today?