So let’s begin:
What is the story of your Baptism? Your Baptism is the true beginning point
of this study, for every person who is baptized into the life, death, and
resurrection of Jesus Christ is called to be his disciple, to learn his ways by coming as
close to him as possible.
Whether you were baptized as an infant, or a young person, or later on in life, that experience of immersion in water has initiated you into a lifetime of immersion into the mission of God, as we can know it through the person of Jesus – his s mission.
But what is the mission of God that disciples are invited to join into?
• Our tradition tells us that God is Trinity, three persons that are yet one whole.
• In other words, at the heart of God is a completely reconciled community of love.
• One way to think of the mission of God is that God is always acting to draw the entire
creation into the very relationship that God knows as Trinity: the harmonious dance of
complete love, complete self-giving, complete reception of the other.
• Every aspect of discipleship that we will be studying is one way in which human
beings are drawn into God’s mission.
• Disciples, following the patterns of Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit, are:
followers (of Jesus)
worshipers (people of prayer)
In the doing of all of these things, disciples also become healers, instruments of God’s
reconciliation of the whole world to God-self. (1)
In each week to come, we will be reflecting upon one of these aspects of discipleship.
For each individual Christian the challenge is not to choose a couple of ways in which
to become a great disciple, but to develop a balanced pattern of all of the forms of
discipleship. It is this full pattern that enables us, as Christians, to bear forth the image
of Christ into every aspect of our world. You will find as we go forward that each facet
of discipleship is deeply related to the others.
Questions for Reflection
Today is unusual, because there was no specific scripture associated with the teaching.
The emphasis today is on sensing where you are and where your heart is, as you begin
• What is the story of your baptism? Has the meaning of your baptism changed for you
since it happened?
• A disciple is a learner, someone who learns the way of life of a particular teacher by
close and regular contact with that teacher. Who is the Jesus you have been trying to
follow up to now? Can you write out a list of attributes of Jesus that are important to
you, or that you would like to incorporate into your life?
• Every project like this requires commitment and discipline. What are your hopes as
you begin this study? You might want to write them down, so that on a day when
you’re tempted to skip it, you will remember why this was important to you.
God of all beginnings, grant me the sustaining power of the Holy Spirit as I commit to
this study, that I may have the grace to learn not only with my head but with my heart,
and that my actions may show forth faithfully the Christ whom I follow. In Jesus’ Name
I pray. Amen.
1 This framework for thinking about discipleship is adapted from Kathleen A. Cahalan’s book, Introducing the Practice of Ministry (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2010).