June 2010 Newsletter

Dear Friends in Christ,

According to the gospel of Matthew, Jesus' parting words to his followers before he ascended into heaven were a call to action.

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:18b-20a)

You and I have a job, a commission. We are to make disciples of all nations. This is the task that Jesus has entrusted to us. This is the mission that we are challenged to fulfill. You and I are to serve God by making disciples of Jesus Christ. Of course, in order to make disciples of Jesus Christ we must be disciples of Jesus Christ ourselves.

A disciple is a pupil of someone else. A disciple is an adherent to the teachings of a particular master. A disciple is someone who follows in the footsteps of a beloved teacher. A disciple is loyal and devoted to a person or set of doctrines, allowing these to shape and influence his or her thought and action. A disciple is committed to promoting a particular walk and way of life.

A person can be a disciple of any number of things. He can be a disciple of a political leader or party. She can be a disciple of a particular school of economic or scientific theory. A person can be devoted to the teachings of a specific philosopher or popular guru. A person can be a disciple of some religious authority or leader other than Jesus Christ. A person can choose to be a disciple of Satan. We have a seemingly endless set of choices when it comes to who we will follow and what influences we will allow to shape and direct our lives. At some point we have to decide to whom we yield. Who do we listen to, emulate, promote, serve?

For those within the church there is only one answer - Jesus Christ. I invite you this month to ponder and meditate on what it means to you to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Not what it means to be a "good person" for we are all sinners in need of God's grace. Not what it means to be a good parent or sibling. God gives us all families without regard to our faith. Not what it means to be a good citizen or a good American for God is God of all the nations. God is not wedded to particular governments or ideologies. Focus simply on what it means for you to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

I invite you to prayerfully reflect on these questions as you seek to refine your own walk with Christ.

  1. Have I read and studied Jesus' teachings so that I know what he asks of me?
  2. Do I regularly seek Jesus, listen to his voice, through an intentional life of prayer?
  3. Do I honor him by my worship, praise and thanksgiving?
  4. Do I imitate him by my life of compassionate service?
  5. Am I gracious and merciful, as Christ has been merciful and gracious to me?
  6. Do I aspire to touch others with Christlike love?
  7. Am I focused on seeking Christ's will for my life and for the world, his will and not my own?
  8. Does being a disciple of Jesus Christ affect my decision making?
  9. Does being a disciple of Jesus Christ define who I am?

Jesus calls us to make disciples of all nations, to bring his teachings, his love, his good news to all the world. We have a commission to fulfill. However to make disciples we must first be disciples. Take time this summer to reflect on your own discipleship so that you can be prepared and equipped to reach out to the world in Jesus' name.

God bless you and sanctify you through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Rev. Peggy Ann Sauerhoff