Discipleship in community (Karoline Lewis): This section of the Sermon on the Mount begins to turn the perspective of the disciples outside of themselves. They are not disciples for their own sakes, and their own actions, but for the sake of those around them as well. There is an accountability, a responsibility to the other for the sake of good of the community.
To be accountable to a community puts some checks and balances in place when it comes to being a disciple—and when it comes to being a leader in the church. All too often, we witness leadership in the church that seems oblivious to the fact that the shaping of a community is at stake. Leaders in the church make decisions as if no one is watching, no one cares, or that the decisions do not matter in and for the lives of others.
To be a part of a community means you are not alone. The disciples needed to hear this truth. How they work out what it means to be disciples of Jesus is not a solitary affair, but can and should happen within a community of the faithful. There is no way that what they do, what Jesus will ask them to do, can reach its full potential without the realization of the company and the community of the faithful with you and beside you. Furthermore, once you realize that your potential as a disciple, who you can be as a disciple, is not just dependent upon you but helped by another, it is then that you begin to believe it.
When we remember that God is with us, not just that God is with me, we begin to realize we are not simply members of community but shapers of community and are shaped by community, all of which tells a critical theological truth—our God is a God of community.
Rector’s Corner: On Sunday, Feb. 26th, we will be having a Joint Worship Service at 9:30am. After the Service, we will stay in the Sanctuary and proceed with our Annual Vestry Meeting. I appeal to every member of our parish to please attend our Annual Vestry Meeting. This is an important piece of our parish life. I believe through your active participation, we will be able to fulfill our common ministry and grow our parish congregation. For me, growth involves the present membership of our parish through a continuing understanding of our calling as baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. And, growth also means bringing people to Jesus Christ.
Coffee, tea and muffins, and light lunch will be served after the Meeting.