...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

From Disciple (3) to Apostle (4)

Station #3: The risen Lord appears to Mary Magdalene.

Station #4: Mary Magdalene proclaims the resurrection to the Apostles.

When she [Mary Magdalene] had said this, she turned around, and beheld Jesus standing [there], and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, "Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, "Rabboni!" (which means, Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren, and say to them, 'I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.'" Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord," and [that] He had said these things to her. John 20:14-18, NASB

The transformation from discipleship to apostleship is a movement we can all too easily side-bar. One of the underlying themes in the New Testament is the story of how the scattered and terrified followers (disciples) become martyrs (witnesses). Here, in stations 3 and 4, Mary Magdalene is "sent out" in order to witness to the resurrection. In effect, she becomes an "apostle to the Apostles." Jesus called her by name and gives her the ears of faith to hear it. She "knew his voice." Recall John 10:2-5.

What would it mean for me to hear Jesus' voice, sending me out as an apostle, bearing and being light to others? As Mary is apostle-ed to give her unique personal witness to the light, so we are sent out to share and to witness. Even to the ungrateful and unappreciative. We, too, are invited, and commissioned, to be more than followers.

If we choose to be disciples, we are chosen and made to be apostles, by the living Christ! (John 15:15) Why? Because we, by God's love and grace, will know and connect with people that no one else will even notice. That's a wonderful gift! Yes, discipleship is easier to measure, control, and to have on our terms. It fits our categories for doing stuff, our way. In apostleship, we surrender free choice, as well as personal preference. Don't take my word. Ask Peter, the poster child of the random impulse. (John 21:18)

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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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