To follow

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“I assure you that when you were younger you tied your own belt and walked around wherever you wanted. When you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and another will tie your belt and lead you where you don’t want to go.” He said this to show the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. After saying this, Jesus said to Peter, “Follow me.” ~John 21:18-19 (CEB)

“To follow Jesus Christ, who was betrayed, wept, bled, and died before he rose again, is to be at high risk of being taken where we had not intended to go. Eugene Peterson pinpoints the trouble with praying: We are often asked to respond in ways that we never intended when we first began to pray.

It matters little where or in what century we are called to live out our Christian life. The witness of those who have gone before informs my own experience, telling me that we are often taken to places where we receive unwarranted accolades and to other places where we receive unwarranted suffering and pain. A disciple, one who chooses to be student and follower of Jesus, is not a ‘self-made person’ and is not on a personally designed journey.

The key word in this theme is taken. Just as Jesus was taken into the wilderness after his baptism, so we are taken into the experiences  of discipleship that we do not necessarily choose for ourselves. We choose to follow Jesus and then Jesus chooses where we will go. It is that simple.

The saving truth here is not that we are taken where we do not want to go; rather the saving truth is that we are not alone. There is One who leads us and foes with us. Jesus arose from baptism and ;the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness’ (Mark 1:12). But even there the angels (messengers of God) were with him and tended to his needs. While we may not choose the place to go, we can choose to remain with the One who sends us and there find comfort, companionship, grace, peace, and joy.” ~Ruben P. Job

Almighty God, help me this day to present my body as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to you. By the power of Your holy spirit make us strong to fulfill my ministry this day. In the name of Christ. Amen.

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