‘Are you ready to use the hot shoe?’

Don’t worry this surreal question has nothing to do with the hot weather we’ve been having, but do you understand the question? I used to use a hot shoe but now I have no need for one; instead I use my phone. If this only adds to your confusion, a hot shoe is what you need if you wish to fit a flash gun, or other such accessories, onto a camera.

Some of you, who are in the know, would have known what I meant by the question at once. Some of you, like me, may have gone ‘Oh yes, I remember now’ once it was explained to you because, like me, you may have once owned a camera which had one. For the rest of you, you may still be none the wiser, but that’s fine as the question doesn’t really matter.

Over these next few months we will be thinking on, praying over and working through a question that does really matter and that is the question of discipleship.

The question of what discipleship is, and what it looks like, is key to who we are as Christians since it impacts completely how we live; how we think; how we believe; how we feel; how we pray; how we worship; how we read the Bible; how we serve; how we work, rest and play; in fact it touches every niche and corner of our lives body, mind and soul.

The answer to this question has three elements: What is a disciple? What is discipleship? What is the goal of discipleship?

You may have thought, after such an exhaustive build up, that these three questions are almost something of an anti-climax. They seem so obvious, so pedestrian and so dull but yet I think they are as explosive as the question Jesus asked Simon Peter in John 21; ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’

This innocent question will reverberate throughout Simon Peter’s life and into his death as well. From the moment Jesus asked him this question he knew life would never be the same again and this new life was one he sought to live from then on.

These three questions are equally short, but may they reverberate through our life as a church that we, as individuals and as a community, may never be the same again.

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