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​

Lent Reading: Sunday, March 9

Reading: Matthew 4:1-10

Reflection Questions:

  1. As you sit with the passage of Scripture, what do you notice about Jesus’ relationship with the Holy Spirit? How does the knowledge of this relationship effect your perspective of Christ’s experience in solitude as he faces the tempter of souls and confronts the common temptations of humanity? Does this perspective give you courage in your own wilderness-like journey or confronting temptations? Why or why not?
  2. As you read through each invitation of the tempter to Christ, what might be at the root of each temptation? What kinds of invitations tempt you away from God? Think of places, things, people, influences or personal dispositions and attitudes where you are most tempted (places of vulnerability, defensiveness, desires for control, power, or esteem). What’s at the root of these for you?
  3. Discuss these things with God in prayer – openly, honestly. Listen for the word of God to you.

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.
God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability,
but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape,
that you may be able to endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

– Elizabeth Khorey

Epiphany Readings: Sunday, March 2

Readings:  Psalm 119:97-104 and Matthew 7: 24-29

  1. As you begin your meditations on God’s word, sit with the words of the psalmist in Ps.119:97-104. Are any of the psalmist’s sentiments true of you? Why or why not? Talk to God about how you experience his word in your actual life.
  1. Turning to Matthew’s gospel and the final words of Jesus in his teaching on the mount, read the passage a few times through. In honesty, consider what he says about the wisdom of obedience to his word. To what degree do you hear his word and do it? Where in your heart and life do you sense a chasm between hearing and doing?
  1. As you consider the picture Jesus paints of a life built with God and on his word versus one that is not, consider how you are building your life and what it is built on.  To what degree have you experienced ruinous effects of a life without God or choices made apart from God in disobedience to his word? If God was sitting with you at this moment, what would you ask him, what would you say to him?  What would you want him to do for you? Talk to God in prayer.
  1.  As you continue to consider your life, past and present, how do you experience the sturdy dependability of God and his word as a foundation that holds firm in times of storm? Respond in gratitude. Ask for the grace-filled capacity to wisely build your life in God by the integration of hearing and doing his word.

– Elizabeth Khorey