Tag Archives: discipleship

Stone jars

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee (John 2:1-11). Six stone jars: fairly large; impervious to contamination; necessary equipment, if people were to maintain the tradition of the elders and practice their faith, if they were to keep their relationship with God alive and healthy; so familiar, people hardly thought […]

Almost Christian

What is discipleship? It may seem an unexpected question, coming from a church member, but it’s a good one. We’ve grown so accustomed to the church’s jargon, we often use words casually even when we don’t know what they mean. Even when we understand their meanings, we often don’t undertake their challenges. I confess there […]

You are witnesses

We’re offering gifts to the confirmands today. We should offer a warning instead. Their mentors are giving them good study Bibles that will serve them for a lifetime. I’m giving them copies of Three Simple Rules, a modern restatement of John Wesley’s guide to faithful living. Not meaning to seem indelicate, I feel we ought […]

The way of discipleship

Jesus’ journey to the new life of resurrection began, I believe, not at his conception or birth or baptism. It did not begin in his choices during forty days of testing in the wilderness, nor with the beginning of his preaching and healing. I believe Jesus’ real journey toward the fulfillment of his life on […]

Working out our own salvation

We are saved by grace through faith, John Wesley asserted, but we are not saved for our benefit; we are saved for good works in the name of God. God blesses us so that we may be a blessing for others. Among all of Wesley’s sermons, “On Working Out Our Own Salvation” is among the […]

Handling opposition to your faith

Now that you’ve heard about the blessings you’ll receive because you’ve joined up with Team Jesus, it’s time to read the fine print. In the Beatitudes at the beginning of his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives us eight keys to living abundantly, and I’ve spent the last seven weeks looking at them. By now […]

Whom are you looking for?

Something is missing when we begin Easter with fanfares and alleluias. In our scriptures, Easter begins with fear and with questions whispered in the dark. After the women discovered the empty tomb, Mark’s gospel tells us they fled, “for terror and amazement had seized them” (16:8). Luke reports they “were terrified” (24:5). Matthew adds a […]

On rebuilding the church, part 2

In my last ruminations I spoke about the need to rebuild the church, not the building that houses the church in this place, but the church, the community of people who have taken sacred vows to live faithfully in response to God in the spirit of the risen Christ. No one can seriously doubt that […]