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Letter From The Rector

Because This Is What Disciples Do!

A new year brings with it new beginnings and new possibilities. I would like to remind you of an old Biblical concept that I believe needs a new emphasis here at St. Peter’s in 2019- Christian Discipleship. A disciple is literally a “follower.” A Christian disciple is a follower of Jesus Christ. Christian discipleship carries with it a number of responsibilities. I’d like to briefly describe those responsibilities.

First, a disciple is committed. When we are committed to someone or something, we are prepared to make sacrifices in order to remain faithful to that commitment. Some of these sacrifices may be small, others larger. Some will be easy, while others may be painful. Some will involve time and effort, others will involve money. We all make commitments to a number of things in our lives. A Christian disciple’s primary commitment (whatever it takes) is to Jesus Christ. A Christian disciple also accepts the responsibility to learn (and when possible) to teach others about Jesus. It’s impossible to follow someone effectively unless you know something about them. You need to spend time with them in order to understand their thoughts, ideas, and dreams and where they intend to lead you. In the same way a Christian disciple cannot follow Jesus Christ unless he/she learns about him- what he taught (by studying the Gospels) and spend time with him regularly (in prayer). This goes back to being committed to taking the time to do these things- even when it may be inconvenient to do so.

And a Christian disciple is committed (there’s that word again) to spending time with other Christians. There is no such thing as a Lone Ranger Christian. We were created by God to be in community with others and Jesus prayed that his disciples would be “one in Him.” (John 17:21)

Christian disciples need to be together to offer support and encouragement to one another, and to worship together and teach one another. A Christian disciple, therefore, joins a Bible Study Group, or a Support Group or a Team ministry of some kind. Sunday mornings will always find the Christian disciple in church-no excuses (short of illness).

So, how are you doing with your Christian discipleship? Take some time to assess yourself. Are you committed to Jesus Christ? Are you spending time with him, learning from him? Are you “in the Bible” on a regular basis (daily)? Do you attend worship services every Sunday (even when it’s inconvenient)? Do you spend time with other disciples? Do you give sacrificially of your time, talent, and treasure to the work of Christ in the world? If you call yourself a disciple of Jesus Christ, then your answer should be “Yes!” to all of the above. You need to be doing these things because this is what disciples do! If your answer is “No” to even one of the above, I invite you to join me in the coming year to learn anew what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. It will be an exciting journey, but I warn you now, it will be full of challenges and some hard work. But in the end, it will be worth it. Jesus told some of his listeners that he had come so that “[his disciples] might have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) I am of the opinion that we can’t begin to experience that “abundant life” until we give our lives to Christ and commit ourselves to becoming his disciples.!

Peace and Love,
John+