By Fylvia Fowler Kline, Assistant Director, General Conference Stewardship Ministries
Summary: Discipleship is not about traveling alone. It is about being in the company of others in the faith. It is about trekking the trail that Jesus marked for us with His blood.
At first impulse, the word disciple paints a not-so-pretty picture on the canvas of my mind: In hues of murky earth tones, I see dusty, calloused feet forever treading unpaved, rocky, robber-infested roads. Through whiffs of hot, humid days, I see a scraggly, unshaven, smelly few, ending every day alone, far from children, spouse, and home. Should the paintbrush arduously continue, my canvas will give painful birth to a heart-wrenching, excruciatingly sorrowful show of life--thick and full with depressing shades of hardship, pain, loneliness.
Praise God that my heart knows better! My heart, being connected to the Cross, dips into soft pastels and rich golds--into the companionship of those walking alongside the disciple, into the grace of the One who walks ahead--to glaze, with passion and joy, the stark picture of walking alone. Indeed, the road is not an easy one (see Caselman’s sermon)! As Ponniah points out in the lead article, it is about giving up everything to God and everybody—it’s a commitment to bear the cross every moment. Then, where’s the glaze of grace? The passion? The joy? Maxson (see Concept) tells us where it is--in the arms of Jesus, in the intimate relationship of our Lord and Savior. Discipleship is not about traveling alone. It is about being in the company of others in the faith. It is about trekking the trail that Jesus marked for us with His blood.
Yes, the canvas is scored with the life of a heavy cross. But it is also gilded with the promise of an eternal crown. That’s discipleship painted in my mind!