Building Community – The Six Marks of Discipleship

Dear Friends,

It was fun to begin the fall together by exploring with you the story of how some fishermen dropped their nets in the Sea of Galilee to follow Jesus. These young and highly imperfect people became Jesus’ disciples. I love this story so much because I think it invites all of us to embark on a great adventure following Jesus. I believe the purpose of the church is to help the people who come here to be disciples. But, what does it mean to be a disciple of Christ? Being a fairly concrete person, I appreciate being in a community where we as fellow companions in faith can give each other some practical and spiritual guidance. As a pastor and teacher in this church, it is my aim to offer such guidance. At the same time, I try to be aware of my limitations and I am grateful for the guidance others offer, that I cannot. We are the priesthood of all believers. Each of us have a calling to learn and serve and encourage and challenge one another in our discipleship.

This fall, during the sermon time, I have been focusing on what I call the Six Marks of Christian Discipleship.

In the first sermon, on September 15, I said that the first mark of being a disciple is to extend a warm and generous Welcome to others.

In the second sermon, I focused on the importance of each of us finding a way to do Service and Justice. All of us can serve in someway on life’s journey, and counter injustice when we see it.

The remaining sermons are as follows:

  • October 6 — Discipleship: Worshiping the Living God. As followers of Christ, we are refreshed, renewed and restored when we give honor to a God who is bigger than our own constructs and imaginations. The scriptures for the day are Psalm 29 and Luke 17:5-10.
  • October 20 — Discipleship: Learning and Growing. When we follow Jesus, we delight in learning new ideas not only as revealed in scripture but in many others ways. Disciples are intellectually and spiritually curious. We all learn in different ways and allow God to cultivate in us a hunger to probe the unfolding mysteries of God’s creation. The scripture for the day is 2 Timothy 3:14 and 4:5.
  • October 27 — Discipleship: Being Generous and Using Money Well. When we are disciples we must not avoid thinking about money. Jesus spent a good part of his ministry reflecting with his disciples on the use and abuse of money. For Jesus, money in its most positive sense becomes a way for us to express our human need to be generous and to make a difference in the world. The scripture for the day is Luke 18:9-14.
  • November 17 — Discipleship: Being Civically and Politically Active. When the disciples followed Jesus, they conducted their ministry in a very open and public way. They did not shy from political and civic engagement. In this spirit, Congregationalists built Meeting Houses for worship and for civic and political conversation and debate. Disciples live faithfully by being engaged in our community and the world. The scripture for the day is Luke 21:5-19.
  • November 24 — Discipleship: Putting it all Together. In this sermon, I will review the Six Marks of Discipleship and encourage your commitment.

See you in church.


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