Do you know anyone who has never played a game like follow the leader, or Simon says? I am no cultural anthropologist, but my guess is that there are games like this in every culture. These games can be used to teach, to have the followers practice what the leader is doing. However, in my experience, these games tend to get more and more difficult trying to get their followers to lose their way. I guess that is the point of the game.
When we speak of discipleship we are talking about more than a game of follow the leader. The word that comes to my mind is to “abide.” When we abide in Jesus the Word, it shapes us we gradually take on its form and shape more and more each day. Unlike the game we this is no contest, this is about relationship, about walking with Jesus, growing to know Jesus as an active part of your life.
The key to this relationship I think is a quote found in my devotions today from Brother Martin; “The chief article and foundation of the gospel is that before you take Christ as an example, you accept and recognize him as a gift, as a present that God has given you and that is your own.”
This abiding this being shaped is not of our doing; Jesus comes to us and says I pick you! The good news is Jesus call is not limited to a special few… “For God so loved the WORLD!” Jesus call for us to be shaped by his loving word is for all people. Our call once we have heard this message to is continue in that word and to be shaped as disciples into his image. The good news for us is unlike games of follow the leader or Simon says, Jesus doesn’t want us to lose, he wants us to grow into the love the God has for each of us and as we follow.