What is followership?

This Sunday we’ll be looking at the lectionary reading John 6:60-69. In this passage Jesus continues a discussion where by he challenges his listeners to a life of following him… whether they understand fully or not. (In fact, he will say that understanding is a gift!) He has said, “I am the bread of life”. The crowd says, “Can you do what Moses did?” He has said, “I am the bread of heaven”. They said, “How does that work?” Jesus said, “Chew on this… without my flesh… you have no life”.

The passage ends with Crowd saying, “This is a hard teaching”. Jesus’ answer: “Does this offend you?”(Not: come on… I’ll make it easier… Don’t worry about it… I didn’t mean to offend you… we’ll work it out together… let’s be friends)

Large groups walk away and Jesus asks Peter, “Do you want to leave too?”

And, Peter gets it, saying, “To whom should we go — you alone have the words of life”.

Following is hard. It requires a complete divestiture of one’s self… a release of control. It is hard for all Americans and doubly hard for 18 year old American boys.

Last night at The Citadel the 4th Class System was put into effect. To be a “Citadel Leader” you have to become a follower first. No longer can a Knob refer to himself as “I”… but “This Cadet”. No longer can he aimlessly meander… “purposeful walking” is now required. A Knob is not a leader; initiative is frowned upon. He is a follower. No more freestyle.

Following is hard. Imagine what the disciples were going through? And they didn’t have a guy “explaining” the finer points of Knob Life. Perhaps that’s what made it harder to follow Him? He doesn’t yell… he invites…

08 17 2009 Knobs learning to follow