“Come, follow me.” Jesus gazed intently at those who became his disciples, and said those simple words: “Come, follow me.” There was something in his demeanor, in the way he spoke, that caused Andrew and Peter, James and John, and all the rest to immediately drop what they were doing, in order to follow this unusual man who had suddenly appeared in their lives.
Jesus gazes intently at those in every generation who become his disciples. He gazes intently at you and at me. Sometimes we follow him instantly. Sometimes it seems we have to struggle to let go of whatever it is, that would keep us from following him – including the struggle of traumatic abuse in our church. But we are still drawn to those words. “Come, follow me.” We will find our healing when we follow Him even – or maybe especially when we are tempted to believe that our pain is more powerful than the Presence of the Lord.
We live some 2000 years after Jesus walked on earth as that man from Galilee. We know his story – He healed, taught, called, lived into the Passion he was created for – as nonsensical as it sounds to some – he lived into the Cross. He died, was buried, He rose from the dead and ascended to the Father. He sent His Holy Spirit.
And so now, when we hear “Come, follow me,” we are listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit. In prayer we discern the directives of what the Lord wants us to do, to say, to be. In prayer we become aware of His Presence all around us and in our hearts.
Whether you want to think of that special Presence as being the Risen Christ, the Holy Spirit, or the Grace of God Almighty, His presence with us causes a particular demeanor among us who have agreed to get up and follow Jesus.
No matter whether we’ve been following Jesus for a very long time, or if we’re still brand new at it, He is always beckoning us to “Come, follow me.” Follow him where, do you think? What happens to us who follow?
I can tell you what happened to St. Teresa of Avila, in 16th Century Spain because she followed him. As a result of her following Jesus, she came to this conclusion:
"Christ has no body on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion is to look out to the world. Yours are the hands with which he is to bless us now."
She knew that following Jesus brings us to servant ministry – to minister to the needs of others with the love of Christ surrounding us completely. When we accept Him completely, we will know His joy.
I’m reminded of St. Paul’s words in his letter to the Philippians in Chapter 4. “Rejoice in the Lord always.” The Lord completely surrounds you. His spirit indwells you. He has made you his own. And remember, whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, pleasing, commendable, excellent, worthy of praise – do that. Seek joy – and the peace of God, which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. That Joy is our wedding garment to the heavenly banquet.
And remember, you're awesome! God holds you in the palm of His hand.
2020 © Dorothy Gremillion
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