February 28

Friday, February 28, 2020

1 Peter 4:1-11

Discipline is a word Methodist clergy are supposed to know. Early on, we learn that the rule book adhered to by so many of our fellow Methodists is called a Discipline. It contains our constitution, our methods of administering things such as election of bishops, the running of the General, Jurisdictional, or Annual Conferences. There are specific provisions of the work of the clergy, whether licensed local pastor, deacon, or elder. There are details as to how we buy, manage, and sell property. Suffice it to say that it is required reading for clergy and leaders.

But the interesting thing here is that we have reduced “discipline” to the external structures around us. The word itself comes from the word disciple. It is what the followers of Jesus have called themselves for 2,000 years. Instead of talking about true discipleship, we have reduced our participation in the church to “membership.” We are not “members!” We are DISCIPLES!

To be disciples is to be students! We are called to participate in a loving and learning relationship with God in the same way our children both belong to and learn from our family. As we learn to live more deeply into our relationship with God, we do so by loving and learning from this Christ to whom we belong.

This is not intended to be restrictive! Quite the contrary, it is liberating. It is living intentionally in relationship with God. It is spending time reading and learning. It is time spent in care and conversation with people whom Jesus called “the least of these.” It is to spend spend time in prayer and contemplation. It is to be free! My prayer is that the disciplines we practice this Lent will, in fact, connect us as disciples to teacher … as children to our God!

Lord, in our prayer today, we come to you intentionally. Love us and teach us your ways. Amen.

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