December 18, 2019
December 18, 2019
We often use the language of being “sent” in the Church to talk about the ways that God calls us out into the world to proclaim the message of Christ. And this is undoubtedly a vital and crucial part of being a disciple for many who are called.
But notice something interesting in this well-known miracle tale in which Jesus casts out a demon into a herd of pigs. After the man is healed of his possession, and just as Jesus is getting into his boat to leave the land, the healed man goes up to Jesus and begs to come to be his disciple. He is begging to be sent! For so many of us that have experienced the power of Jesus to heal us and make us whole, this is an emotion that we can readily identify with. It is the desire to be with Jesus and to be sent by Jesus.
And yet, look at Jesus’s reply: “But Jesus refused, and said to him, ‘Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and what mercy he has shown you.” (5:19).
Go home? Usually, when we think about being sent by Jesus, we think of mission trips and Paul’s journeys and going to far off places. How often do we think of the call of Jesus is “Go home and hang out with your friends”? But this is exactly what Jesus wanted for this healed man.
We never quite know what we are getting into when we sign up for a life of discipleship. For some, the journey takes them to places all over the world. But for others, Jesus calls them to be a disciple no further than their dinner table; their neighborhood; their local coffee shop.
Discipleship is sometimes a mystery to us, but it is never a mystery to God. There is no doubt we are all called. Let us rely on the instructions of Jesus to place us exactly where we need to be.
QUESTIONS FOR THE FIELD
- Have you ever felt that your discipleship journey is somehow less than someone else’s? What caused this feeling?
- What are the places you might be called to serve right where you are?
FAMILY FIELD TALK
- What are some ways that you can be a disciple at your dinner table, in your neighborhood, or at your school?
Gracious God, you call us to be disciples but we admit we don’t always know what that means. Teach us to serve where we are; give us the words and deeds to spread your love in ways big and small. Amen.