Follow Me

    Life is full of decisions. We face the “What should I do?” question so often, as we continually confront a chorus of choices.  At times our choice seems clear, reasonable and logical, while at other times no choice seems obvious. As we travel through life, we hope to improve our choices allowing us to draw closer to the ultimate source of life---Jesus Christ. 

   In today’s gospel, Jesus called Simon, Andrew, James and John, and they immediately left their families and their work and followed him. During his public ministry, Jesus called many to follow him. Today, Jesus is asking that same question of us, Will you follow me?  His call to discipleship is as urgent today as it was so many centuries ago, as he continues to ask us the same question.

    Spiritual writer Alice Camille reminds us: “When we take our eyes off Jesus …and instead follow this leader or that ideology, we have lost sight of the stranger who once walked along the shores of our life and invited us to fall in behind him.  When Christianity gets separated from Jesus, it quickly becomes a mutant thing, easily manipulated by worldly concerns and losing its focus from the central to the merely incidental.” We may never fully understand what Jesus is asking of us, but we agree that following him requires complete commitment---in all we are, and in all we decide to do or not do.

   To help us maintain our discipleship focus, we frequently ask, “What would Jesus do?” That question may seem trite or overused, but it becomes the key question that determines the marching order for serious disciples. It is a profound question that will significantly change the way we view ourselves and our world.  “What would Jesus do?” can be the key to solving a lifetime of challenges, as we continually ask ourselves if we really are following Jesus. To help test our resolve, religious writer Patricia Sanchez offers the following scenarios:

   “Someone informs you that a neighbor needs a ride to church on Sunday, but you would rather not be bothered. Someone asks you to help out at a church activity, but you have already decided to do something else. You notice that the store clerk undercharged you for the item you purchased, but you say nothing because you feel you have been overcharged before.  During tax time, you fail to declare your part-time cash salary job because you reason that everyone does it. To get an early start on your vacation, you call in sick and take the day off.  Your neighbor is in the hospital but you don’t visit because you don’t like hospitals. Before checking out of your hotel, you fill your suitcase with hotel items because the hotel bill is outrageously high.”

   These ordinary examples taken from everyday life have much to do with discipleship, because full-time disciples continuously ask:  “What would Jesus do?” of every large and small, important and seemingly unimportant moment of our lives.  Jesus’ disciples continually hear him ask, “Will you follow me?” They answer by the actions of their lives. How will you answer?                                                                                   

  ----Deacon Wilson Shierk