This week we are beginning our Lenten Study of Archbishop Rowan Williams’ book Being Disciples – Essentials of the Christian Life. The book presents us with a series of short reflections calling us to the holy state of living into the discipleship of Jesus Christ. I would love for you to accompany us on this Lenten journey. This week, please read and reflect on Chapter 1 – Being Disciples.
In Chapter 1, Williams writes generally about what it means to be a disciple. First and foremost, discipleship is a state of being and transformation. The heart of discipleship is not about right behavior and following certain rules and commandments, nor is discipleship about knowledge and knowing the right dogma or theology. Rather, discipleship is about a relationship where we stay or abide continuously in the presence of the teacher so that we may be transformed. The goal of Christian discipleship, as Paul writes, is to behold the glory of the Lord and be changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another. 2 Cor. 3:18.
Williams sets forth the characteristics that a disciple should have. As a disciple continuously abides in the presence of his teacher, he must be in a state of constant listening to the words given by his teacher to him. This listening is being actively aware and expectant to the words and actions of the teacher. If the disciple is to be transformed into the image and likeness of the teacher, the disciple must look for and expect that change.
As you read through this book, please read slowly. Think about how we abide in the presence of our teacher. Think about where and when we hear the words of our teacher. Think about what your expectations for transformation are. And think about who can help guide you on this journey of discipleship because as Christians we believe that discipleship is not a solo effort.
If you wish to read a little further on being a disciple, HERE is an article by John Piper and R.C. Sproul that dovetails very well with the reading for this week.
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. Gal. 2:19b-20