Pastoral Ponderings—Ice and Discipleship

Pastoral Ponderings—Ice and Discipleship

I’m so glad we didn’t have the freezing rain last night that was expected! I don’t mind the cold that much, and love the snow, and if the ice could just stay in the trees, in pretty icicles, or in my glass, I could be fine with ice, too, but I’m not so excited about ice on the roads or sidewalks!  Even though the prediction for freezing rain did not come to pass, one of the good things about ice is generally how predictable it is.

Nothing fancy there—when it gets cold enough, it freezes, when it warms up, it melts.  We sometimes have that narrow range like last night, when, if conditions are just so, as was likely, we’d get ice, unless it doesn’t turn out that way.  But we generally we don’t live in that narrow range, so when it’s cold enough, it freezes, then it melts when it gets warm.

You might think I’m a little off when I put ice and discipleship together like this, but Christian discipleship, too, is generally pretty predictable— if you follow the formula, you get discipleship: pray, read scripture, love God, love people, make other Jesus people your close circle of influence, and you grow in your discipleship.  Sure, there’s always the exceptional circumstances where the “formula” doesn’t work as expected, but like our predicted freezing rain that didn’t happen, that gray area of variability is pretty small. And since we don’t live the gray area that much, the formula almost always works: do this, this and this, and your grow in your faith.

It’s pretty predictable.  So why do we try to live in the gray and explain away why we’re not growing in our Jesus walk?  The Jesus life also tends to be contagious—not all the time, but very often–just live Jesus, and invite others to join the party, and we see results.

Keep on praying, keep on listening for the voice of God through the scriptures, keep on loving, and when you grow in your discipleship enough to glow—to let your little light shine—invite others to the party!  Or to put it another way, remember the way Jesus put it as we read and talked about on Sunday—“Abide in my love… so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15: 10-11)

Living in the Light—Pastor Jim

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