Monday, 16 June 2014

Culture of discipleship : An authentic rabble

We're considering the culture of discipleship over these couple of Sundays together as a local church. Not so much the structure of how to get it done, but how it feels to be part of a discipling, growing community of people who are eager to grow up fully into the mission of Jesus.

The story of David in Adullum's cave is great example of the kind of mixed up people that are drawn into this mission, and that are still called to partner on Kingdom adventures today.
The distressed, discontented and those in debt began appearing at the cave as they heard David was hiding out there - this sorry bunch of loser outlaws with all their hang ups and poor history became the power base for the new kingdom through their growing love for David, and the increasing understanding of the adventure they were engaging in together.

This rag tag rabble don't look too different from the troublesome twelve that gathered around Jesus' leadership hundreds of years later! These fall out boys were constantly at each other, always bickering and boasting, never quite seeming to get the point....and yet look what they became.

Maybe we are beginning to realise that these are just the kind of people that authentic disciples are made from, the kind of people who get shaped and sent on mission? Maybe we have to change our thinking and realise that the ordinary disciples we look around at on a Sunday morning are the ones God calls in our generation for the sake of his glory and his purposes?

To paraphrase the great writer Brennan Manning in his 'Ragamuffin Gospel' :
This call to discipleship is for the bedraggled, beaten up, burned out.
It's for the sorely burdened who are still shifting the heavy suitcase from one hand to another.
It's for the wobbly and weak kneed who know they don't have it all together and are too proud to accept the handout of amazing grace.
It's for the inconsistent, unsteady disciples whose cheese is falling off their cracker.
It is for the poor, weak, sinful men and women with hereditary faults and limited talents.
It is for earthen vessels who shuffle along on feet of clay.
It is for the bent and the bruised who feel that their lives are a disappointment to God.
It is for smart people who know they are stupid and honest disciples who admit they are scallywags.
It is for me and anyone who has grown weary and discouraged along the way.

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