What does it mean to be a disciple? Most would say it has to do with being a pupil, learner, or student – even noting the shared root with the word “discipline” as it relates to instruction. And surely these are right, inasmuch as they say what they say. Apprentices of a master are that master’s disciples. They have the discipline of being instructed by the master, humbly learning as pupils and students. And yet, all this seems somehow lacking when we think of being a disciple of the Lord. Mere pupils? Does being a disciple just mean exercising discipline in order to learn his pattern of instruction?
Christian discipleship always involves hearing. Discipleship is “hearing-ship”. There is something about the Lord’s words: when heard, disciples are made. The proclamation, Hear!: it is as if the ear awakens to the voice of its creator, just as the waves and winds once obeyed the same voice (Peace! Be still!). More than mere instruction, discipleship is hearing. While information and learning are interesting, the hearing involved in discipleship is more than information. Transformation and changed lives, maybe?
Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one. (Deuteronomy 6:4)
Lord, we beseech thee to keep this your Church and household continually beneath thy grace; that we will lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace, and may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Christ our Lord. Amen.