Tag Archive: disciple


Sent Out The Door

John 20:21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”

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Behind our doors of fear it is the resurrected Jesus appearing. The disciples afraid of being rejected by the Jewish leadership that rejected Jesus – they locked the doors afraid to be who they were called to be. The disciples afraid of failure because they saw a movement end in a cross and a confusing empty tomb which looked like failure – they locked the doors afraid to move forward to do what they were called to do.

The rejected Jesus appears behind our fear of rejection and doesn’t reject us. Jesus says “Peace be with you.” Showing off scars that no longer can be marks of failure, but marks faithfulness. God has redeemed those scars to now be glorious marks of freedom and forgiveness for all. Jesus appears behind the doors we lock because we are afraid of failing and we have our own scars that we think mark our failures. It is behind this door of fear Jesus says, “Peace be with you.”

Then the powerful thing about this passage is in the midst of the Son of God proclaiming peace over us, he also says “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  As we unlock the doors of fear because of Christ peace in our lives we are sent out as the Body of Christ to appear behind the doors of fear that our neighbors, family members, and friends find themselves hiding behind.

Thank you to all those who have shown up behind the doors of fear that I have often tried to lock in my life. Because of you I have been able to step out in love that casts out fear toward being who I have been called to be.

Lord Jesus, you who promised to give and leave your peace with us, may we go like you willing to appear in places of fear and lead in your ways of peace until your kingdom comes and your will is done.  Amen.

 

Giving Is Easy

A young man joined us for worship this week. He had been teetering on the edge of homelessness here in Raleigh. His immediate family here is experiencing some brokenness and wasn’t providing the support he needed so he was hoping to get back to the western part of the state where he had friends and other support. After worship he was bravely making himself vulnerable and expressing his hurts and his needs to one of the saints of Millbrook. ( I wonder what church in general would be like if we all were vulnerable and willing to express our brokenness and needs in a community of grace.) I was completely unaware of this as I was visiting with others after the amazing choir Christmas cantata. Then another one of our Millbrook saints came over and handed me a large amount of cash and told me he had over heard the young mans plea and wanted to help pay for a bus ticket. Once I got to visit with him and hear his story I had the chance to hand him the cash after some others, out of love and generosity, also gave to help him get back. That money in my hand wasn’t mine. presents-3-1056262-640x630It was given as a gift, entrusted to me to be given away as a blessing to the young man. It was kind of fun, a little bit exciting to give it away. It wasn’t mine to begin with, and I could give it away in hopes of blessing someone. After driving him to the Greyhound station and praying with him I hoped to eventually hear back from him that he made it and he is okay. I couldn’t help but think about the gift of life, everlasting life, the gift of love, the gift of grace, that has been given to us. I couldn’t help but think about God owning the cattle on the thousand hills and God the creator owning the hills also. That all we have and all we are is a gift from our loving creator. Every breath I take is dependent on his gift of life. Every step we take is dependent on the gift of gravity. All of these things are gifts which we cannot create out of nothing. If our life is not our own maybe this moment I had yesterday is a lesson for me and us all. Maybe this is the perspective of our lives as disciples. If everything is gift and is not our own, we shouldn’t clutch it so tightly, but be willing to give it all as a gift for the blessing of others. Giving is so much easier when you are sharing what was entrusted to you to be given away as a blessing.

 

Lord Jesus, you have given us new life, may we be always willing to give our lives away as a gift of blessing to others. Thanks for giving us life. May our lives be given as gifts to bring life to those around us. Amen. 

Fish Tales

Jon FishingWe have been exploring some of the Fish Tales at Millbrook UMC following Jesus around the Sea of Galilee. So when my friend Jon invited us out on his boat I started reflecting on a few things. I invite you to watch the 2 minute video and to do some reflecting with me.
I can’t tell you how many times I had walked past Jon’s house only to see him in the driveway fixing something on this old boat. He loves that boat and when the weather is right he and his wife could be found out on the water. Soon they will be taking their yearly anniversary trip where they spend the week out on the boat along the Carolina coast. When reading stories of Jesus inviting some fishermen to follow I got to thinking of what a big deal it was that they left their boat and their nets behind to follow. This boat is my buddy Jon’s passion, but for the disciples this was their livelihood. I don’t see Jon easily walking away from his boat. This just highlighted the power of this story seeing how these early disciples of Jesus were willing to drop what they knew to follow Jesus.
Is there something we should be dropping and leaving behind to follow Jesus?
The other thing that strikes me about these fish tales and this conversation with Jon is that Jesus called people just like Jon; hard working down to earth kind of guys. He hasn’t gone to seminary or gotten his Doctorate of Ministry degree or anything. He isn’t some Christian Spiritual guru that has written twenty books on the 10 easy steps to be a better Christian. He is just someone who knows how to be a good friend, and is the kind of guy who is a bit tenacious when it comes to solving a problem like removing a rusty bolt on the transom of his boat or a problem at work. When I think of the fisherman Jesus encountered and called to follow, I can’t help but think of guys like my buddy Jon. It was guys just like Jon that Jesus called, discipled, and then turned loose to transform the world.
What would your life look like if you believed that Jesus called you to follow him?

 Jesus, walking along the streets of our city you see us as we are and you call us. If there are things we should leave behind to follow you, I ask you for the courage to drop it. Thank so much for calling the likes of us to follow you. Amen.

Story Time

I am so glad the new year is underway. I have missed the regular rhythm of meeting with our Life Group.  Last night as we gathered in the living room we shared fragments of Judy’s, Wayne’s, Shelley’s and other stories. We also opened the scripture and reflected on Philip and Nathanael‘s story. I have come to love watching how God is weaving our stories together.

The significance of becoming a community of being a people who share our stories, but also are shaped by God’s great story was highlighted in the first episode of our NCUMC tv program called Every Day Grace TV.  I thought you would enjoy.