Thursday, August 26, 2004

I posted the following on the Saint Patrick's Church blog:

I have been reflecting on the Great Commission lately -- Matthew 28:16-20 -- where Jesus leaves his marching orders for the church. My typical bent when I ponder the Great Commission is to think of all the people who are not yet disciples and need to find new life in Christ. That is not a bad thing to ponder, but lately I have been looking at the commission from another angle. I have been thinking on its call to me not to make disciples but to be a disciple. The heart of the commission's agenda is to teach to obey all that Christ has commanded. Hmm.... Have I made that my intention -- to obey all of Christ's commands? If I am honest, no. I have made it my intention to be pretty obedient, but not fully obedient. Now clearly, setting out to follow this injunction to obedience is not a matter of will power -- sort of squeezing oneself into an obedient mold. Not too much time on the spiritual path shows up the futility of this approach. No, being obedient to all things is a work of grace. But being a work of grace does not mean there is no intention on my part. I must pursue obedience by God's grace. The challenge is to broaden the scope of my obedience -- an act of obedience itself -- to take in the full panorama of the obedient life. That, I am seeing afresh, is the call to discipleship.

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