A disciple is a student who follows the teachings and practices of a teacher. Consequently, we can say that Christian discipleship is a lifelong journey of living out and spreading the good news of Jesus Christ so that others may believe. Jesus invited the disciples, and many others along the way, to embark on a faith journey as they learned about his ministry. Each disciple responded with a resounding “Yes!”
What are marks of discipleship? There are no physical marks that identify a disciple, only practices disciples engage in as they follow Jesus. Jesus the teacher invited the disciples to join him for the journey, and then he modeled for them seven practices that we can call the seven marks of discipleship: praying, studying, worshiping, inviting, encouraging, serving, and giving.
We too are invited to embark on this faith journey. Yet it cannot be accomplished alone: Jesus invited the disciples to be part of his mission and ministry in community.
This message is excerpted from the 2009 Women of the ELCA resource “Lessons for Today’s Disciples,” written by Valora Starr. Today is the fifth Sunday in Epiphany.
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