The Session and Trustees meet two weeks ago to discern how the Presbyterian Church at Woodbury moves forward post-Covid and discussed mission, vision, finances, and discipleship. It was an uplifting meeting that dealt with some tough issues and the reality of our life together. I came away with a sense that the congregation needed to be reminded that our call is as disciples of Jesus Christ, and we need to be inviting folks to join us plus participating fully in the ministry of the church.
Rev. Katherine S. Michael in an officer training manual for Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota states that: All of God’s people are called to discipleship. Jesus’ invitation to Simon, Andrew, James, John, and to his other disciples, is the same invitation he extends to us today. “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.”
Jesus came proclaiming the advent of God’s reign on earth and calling us to live according to that reign as Jesus’ disciples. Jesus calls us to love God with all our heart, mind, and soul, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. (Matthew 22:37-39) Paul calls us to “live lives worthy of our calling” (Ephesians 4:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12) in how we treat others, how we relate to the world around us, how we honor God in all things.
John Dominic Crossan says Jesus preached a “moral eschatology,” that places a responsibility on Jesus’ disciples to live in such a way that love is known, and justice is afforded to all people. (Jesus to Christ Frontline DVD)
Being a disciple of Jesus is serious business. It is not a part time or weekend affair. Discipleship defines the whole of our lives, our identity, our purpose, our hope, our world view.
God’s people are called to service. When we respond to Jesus’ call, the orientation of our lives shifts from self-centered to other-centered living. The first Other, of course, is God. We are creatures of the Divine Creator, called to live in relationship with God and in obedience to God’s will. The second ‘other’ encompasses all of God’s creation, human and non-human alike. The call to love means that we join in God’s care for creation and preference for the poor. It also means that all of our relationships are brought into the sphere of God’s claim. To love others as we love ourselves means working for justice, doing kindness, and walking humbly with God. (Micah 6:8) It means that we treat those close to us and those far away with generosity and compassion. It means that we work to make the world a better place for all people.
I would like to invite ALL members to join the church family for worship, study, and service, in other words – join us in DISCIPLESHIP!!