Ever “unfriend” someone? Or been “unfriended” by someone on Facebook? If it’s happened to you, there was likely no notice given. You simply discovered one day that you’d been dropped from someone’s list of friends, no reason given.
Relationships do evolve and change. Friendships can run hot or cold, close or distant. But to simply “unfriend” someone, and thereby “unfollow” them…ouch.
Would you “unfriend” or “unfollow” Jesus? You (and I) do this when we follow our own path and desires rather than follow the will of Jesus revealed in his Word. We “unfollow” Jesus when his Word (whether in worship or study) becomes a distant memory. Summer, with its increased opportunities for recreation and travel, is a time when many “unfollow” the Savior.
Several times in the Gospels, Jesus issues the command to “Follow me.” He expects faithful followers to respond immediately and continuously, not on their (our) own terms, but on his terms. Key to following Jesus is the sound of his voice heard through his Word. “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27) It is important to always be within hearing distance of the voice of our Good Shepherd.
Whether this summer has seen you continue to faithfully follow Jesus or you’re on the verge of “unfollowing” him, now is a good time to get back on track and to recommit oneself to faithfully following the Savior. The beginning of the school year (just weeks away) and the regular routines of Fall are a key time for many as routines and priorities are reset and re-established.
Jesus offers a full smorgasbord of Word and Sacrament. Personally, we can access his Word in so many ways. One of the blessings of a church family like Trinity Lutheran is the variety of ways (worship, Bible study, activities, service) the Word is made available.
If you haven’t checked your Facebook friends in a while, you may want to see if anyone has dropped you. Perhaps you can reconcile that “friendship.” Be sure to intentionally remain a follower and friend of Jesus. Remain in his Word, often, and grow in faith.
A fellow follower by grace,
Pastor Stephen Luchterhand