Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Day 21: Practical discipleship… (Luke 10:38-42) 17 Mar 09

Being contemplative is being quiet. Being devoted is being attentive. Being hospitable is being warm and busy. Being a disciple is being servant. Can I be a disciple and yet be a listener? Can I be a disciple and yet silence? Can I be disciple and be hospitable? Can I be a disciple who is practical and yet spiritual?

Recently, my denomination is having its Annual General Meeting. It is to sort out some issues and have agreement and consensus so that we can go about another year of our business. The meeting, which I have attended before as an observer, is like a business meeting. But we are a religious body and the things we discuss are spiritual! But how can spiritual things be business like? How can a disciple be practical?

The account of Martha and Mary is a battle of many Christians of today: being practical like Martha, preparing and serving to honor Jesus the Lord; and being a disciple like Mary, sitting and meditating at the feet of Jesus. I don’t think it is a battle, neither is it a tight rope for us to walk on. It is possible to practice practical discipleship.

How? I don’t know. But we have to. We are living in a real world; we are also living in a spiritual world. We are called to be the light of the world, and salt of the earth; not light to the sun, salt to the sea. We are to be useful and practical, but at the same time retain our identity by being with our Creator.

This journey to the Cross came to a house; a house with a hospitable Martha and contemplative Mary. They are not enemies, they are sisters. They both love the Lord Jesus. They both want to give their best to Jesus. Martha gives of her service and Mary gives of her devotion. Both are equally important, and Jesus is not in favor of one over another. It is not Mary’s devotion that Jesus is commenting over Martha’s distraction. It is Mary’s humility of accepting who she is in Christ and not trying to be someone else or asking someone else to be liked her.

In church, when we see other not serving, we will think that this person is not as spiritual as us. Or when we see other not participating in prayer meetings, we will think that this person doesn’t pray as much as you. We often think that our form of spiritual discipline in the only form.

Practical discipleship is to accept that we are all practicing spiritual discipline differently as the Lord has gifted us. And each of our unique way of practicing spiritual discipline neatly forms the complete picture of practical discipleship. Are you one of them?


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