In keeping with some of the Yoder I quoted in the previous post, I’d like to propose that discipleship can be distilled down to a twofold task. (Beware of reductionists!)
The first portion is being the kind of called-out community who embody the kingdom of God, upsetting the status quo, serving the poor and oppressed, running afoul of the powers-that-be, and being persecuted, abused and possibly killed for it.
The second portion is in becoming a community which is intimately connected in love and fidelity to Jesus Christ, becoming the types of people who can think of nothing more compelling than to love God by lovingly laying down our lives for our neighbors and enemies.
You might reduce this further to say that the task of discipleship to Jesus is to joyfully love so much that it kills us. This is not a macabre obsession with death, but rather a recognition that we are never more alive than when we are freed from caring whether or not loving will bring us harm. Reckless love is the only true love, and only those who love without fear are truly free.
[Photo by Josh Parrish]