This week we began our Lenten Study with Prince of Faith, looking at the Disciple Peter. The Gospels give us a very intimate view of Peter’s journey of faith. We see Peter’s foibles, his errors and his journey of spiritual growth with surprising clarity. This makes Peter a wonderful example for us to follow. Just as Peter often made mistakes in following Christ, we too make mistakes. Just as Christ welcomed him, Christ welcomes us. Just as Christ forgave him, Christ forgives us.
In our first study, we looked at Jesus’ invitation to Peter to become “a fisher of people” – or rather, to go on a journey of discipleship. We listed out what Peter’s tasks as a disciple would turn out to be: crowd management, finding food and shelter for the group, communications, walking, following, sharing news about Jesus – yet these tasks weren’t Peter’s journey of discipleship; his inward transformation was his journey of discipleship. The tasks were just tasks along the way.
Too often, we mix these things up – our journey as disciples, and the tasks that might accompany that journey. Study, service, witness, mission, prayer, even worship – these are all tasks that can be part of our journey of discipleship. But the tasks themselves aren’t the journey. It is our inward transformation which is the journey. These tasks can become practices to help guide and shape the journey, but without an inward disposition of discipleship, without a willingness of heart to let God transform our lives, none of those tasks can move us even one step along the journey of faith.
What does an inward disposition of discipleship look like, and how can we develop it? That is our question this Lent; and it’s our question this year.
This week we saw how Peter struggled with obedience to Christ: at first he hesitated to let his nets down into the water. Perhaps this week we could consider our attitude of obedience to Christ. And especially I invite you to pray about this question: when Christ asks for our obedience in an area where we feel ourselves to be an expert, how do we respond?
Next week, Rev. Deacon Elizabeth Short will lead session #4 in the Study Book.
Join us every Wednesday until April 1: soup supper at 6pm; study begins at 7pm.