tirsdag 28. mars 2017

Knowing what discipleship means - a step on the journey

Two days back I wrote that Jesus gave his disciples a threefold calling:
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. Matt 16:24
I have already reflected on self-denial and cross-bearing. Today's topic is about discipleship = following Jesus. Diedrich Bonhoeffer is a theologian who really challenges me. I return to his book: “The Cost of Discipleship” (1) again and again. Bonhoeffer focused on the fact that discipleship comes with a cost: God’s grace must result in following Jesus. Therefore, he warned strongly against ‘cheap grace’.

I agree with those who claim that we for a long time made it hard for people to enter a church and easy to be a disciple. Today I think that it has become easier to be accepted into many church-communities. The challenge is if we are offering discipleship with a discount. Again it is time to reflect on yet another Bonhoeffer-quote: "Salvation is free, but discipleship will cost you your life" (1).

When I became a soldier in the Salvation Army (1970), it was a tradition that the new soldiers sang a dedication along with the other soldiers in the meeting:

I will follow Thee, my Saviour,
Thou hast shed Thy blood for me;
And though all the world forsake Thee
By Thy grace I’ll follow Thee!
‘Manna’ for today:
By Thy grace I’ll follow Thee!
  Bonhoeffer's book: "Nachfolge" (in German) literally translates "After-following". This works very well in Norwegian  translation "Etterfølgelse", while it does not work in English. The English title of his famous book is: "The Cost of Discipleship".

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