Lord George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury (ret.) in a post-conference address last Sunday challenged us all to “Radical Discipleship.” Lord Carey was remarking on Jesus’ rebuke of Peter in Mark 8:32…:If any want to become followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Peter wanted the good parts of his life only; he was a “casual” follower of Christ. Even today many of us “follow” Christ but few of us have made it to being a real disciple. On the one hand, our rebellious nature longs for freedom but then we desire the goodness of the law-we have the obligation built within us.
Lord Carey is brutally honest: “Here in Mark, Jesus’ happy teaching and healing days are over. Jesus sets his face now towards Jerusalem and the cross. But the disciples are slow to understand; they are bewildered, confused, and totally clueless.”
Lord Carey spoke of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran theologian and pastor who participated in the Nazi resistance movement and was involved in plans to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Bonhoeffer was executed for his beliefs by hanging in 1945, 23 days before the Nazis’ surrender.
“Perhaps we are not asked to give up our life as Bonhoeffer did, but are we at least willing to speak up for our faith? Carey continued: “Secularism in the United Kingdom is snuffing out the Christian way of life and it is starting to do the same in the United States. “
Lord Carey calls us to be Radical Disciples with three commitments:
1. Commit to “showing up” as Christians in our churches, our schools, our businesses and most importantly in our families. Woody Allen’s quote: “80% of success is just showing up.”
2. Commit to a deeper personal discipleship. We need to keep listening, obeying, and reflecting on what God is asking us to do, not only as individuals but as an entire community of the Christian body,
3. Commit to being visible. Christianity has to be visible in every aspect of life, or that life will be snuffed out.
“Now is the time for us to sow the seeds and till the ground of our heart. It is time for us to take up our cross and Speak up! We need to speak up intelligently, pleasantly, and not angrily. We need to speak up with love.”
Are you ready to be a RADICAL DISCIPLE, speaking out intelligently, pleasantly, and with love?
Blessings, my friend,