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, April 27

Reading: 1 Peter 1:3-9 and John 20:19-31

Reflection Questions:

  1. Recalling recent readings of the disciples, namely Peter, as they journeyed with Jesus through his trails, tortured death and resurrection, listen to Peter’s voice, his heart, his audacious faith and understanding of life after Jesus’ ascension from the opening of his letter to Jesus followers (1 Peter 1:3-9). What do you hear? What do you sense changed for Peter?
  2. As you sit with Peter’s words, his wisdom, what encouragement do you receive? What lessons might you learn from this sage follower of Christ? Is there something to embrace, take hold of for your own current circumstances and life experience?
  3. Peter likened his experience of Jesus’ resurrection to new birth, a second chance at life, newness of life. Think about Peter’s description: “he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…” (v.3). What does this description convey to you? How might you describe your own experience of Jesus and his resurrection?
  4. The resurrection of Jesus has impacted and changed humanity for centuries. How has it changed you? Is there a testimony, a story to tell, of the ways you’ve experienced or are experiencing Jesus’ resurrection life, hope, salvation? Look for creative, bold ways to tell your story to others this week!

Easter Sunday, April 20

Readings: Acts 10:34-43; Matthew 28:1-10

Christ is risen! Christ is risen, indeed!

Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song. ― Pope John Paul II

Easter changes everything! Why? Christians are in Christ. What is true of him will be true of us. On Easter we affirm not merely, Christ is risen, but I shall rise. This is the confidence that fuels martyrs. It is the poise that allows an exhausted mom to get the last child in bed with kindness and love. Easter provides the certainty that allows those who find life challenging to keep walking in faith while they wait for a spouse to marry, a new job, to finish that last class before graduation, or to anticipate a friendship to be reconciled. Easter-faith is both backbone and joy for the journey—it changes everything!