“And I’ll…Follow You into the homes of the broken, Follow You into the world, Meet the needs for the poor and the needy, God; Follow You into the world.” – “Follow You”, Leeland
It was several years ago when I was at the Gathering in Lansing with a group of youth when we sang the words above. Those words are the chorus to the song “Follow You” by the band Leeland. As I think about this article and I think about where we are in the life of the church, I think about what it means for us to follow Jesus. In the life of faith, the fancy word for following Jesus is what we call discipleship. Being a disciple is to be a learner, a follower, and a student.
This whole season of Epiphany is an opportunity for us to focus on our life of discipleship together. How do we follow Jesus? Why do we follow Jesus? We follow Jesus because we have been united together by our baptisms into his life, death, and resurrection. We follow Jesus because Jesus says, “follow me and I will make you fishers of people.” We follow Jesus because Jesus provides hope and light for our world. We follow Jesus because as disciples we go where Jesus goes. We go into the homes of the broken, we go into the world, we go to try and meet the needs for the poor and the needy. Simply put, as disciples and followers of Jesus, we do what he does because Jesus says that we are to continue healing, and forgiving, and freeing, and caring for others just like he did.
Discipleship is not always easy- make no mistake about it. Sometimes following Jesus means that we have to say things that will make us unpopular. Jesus is always calling us to care for the needs of others and sometimes that means following Jesus into the broken places and the places where people need us to stand with, and speak for, them. Those can be uncomfortable places. Those can be long and lonely roads. Following Jesus is costly, but we can’t afford not to.
As we explore this thing we call discipleship together in this Epiphany season, remind yourself that you are never alone. God goes with us, Jesus surrounds us, and the Holy Spirit lives in us helping to illumine our path and shine in the darkness. Plus, we do it together; and together, we’ll “meet the needs for the poor and the needy, God; follow you into the world.”
Here We Go,