Daily Devotions
 
Daily Devotion
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

I believe the first time I heard the hymn Will You Come and Follow Me, ( ELW-798), was at a Good Shepherd, Women’s Renewal Weekend.  It was chosen by one of the women who shared a witness talk as the song which introduced her witness.  Then in 2015, when I was on sabbatical at the Iona Abbey in Scotland, I heard it once again.

Perhaps I should not have been surprised by this because the hymn was written by John L. Bell in 1987.  Bell composed it after being accepted into the Iona Community in 1980. He has served at Wild Goose Publishing which creates music and liturgies for the abbey.  The hymn is about a call to radical discipleship, discipleship which involves loving all our neighbors and even loving all parts of ourselves.  

The text of the hymn is clever and beautiful because it contains thirteen questions asked by Jesus in the first person.  For you see, the initial four stanzas with the questions are in Jesus’ voice, and the fifth stanza is the singer’s response to those questions.  The hymn is based on Mark 1:16-20, Jesus calling his first disciples.

Mark 1:16-20 (NIV)
As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”  At once they left their nets and followed him. 
  
19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets.20Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

The words of the hymn can be challenging because they often describe caring for those people we would not typically encounter in our everyday lives or going to places which are outside our comfort zones.  However, if the truth be told sometimes that is what being a disciple of Jesus looks like.  It makes me think of the people who have traveled to Haiti from Good Shepherd, or those who volunteer regularly at Taft Elementary or at Habitat for Humanity locally.  As a congregation and as individuals we have done ministry in Jesus’ name in places we never dreamed about.

It is thirteenth question, that makes me stop and ponder, “Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around, through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?”  This seems to be a question that we consider daily as individual Christians but I also believe it is a question we must consider daily as Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Cincinnati who has been called to do ministry in Jesus’ name.

I hope you can take a few minutes to listen to this hymn and ponder Jesus’ call to you to follow him.

https://youtu.be/GiXnbOORTAU

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