By Pierre Simson M.Afr
Among the many images which the New Testament writers use to describe discipleship, that is the life of Jesus' followers, one of the images which speak to me most is that the life of a disciple is a journey. It is actually the image behind Jesus' call of his first disciples:' Come, follow me'
The image of ' the journey of discipleship' appeals to me, first of all, because journeying is so much part of our human experience. It means that discipleship, like a journey, is in some way an adventure, and I take to the road, not knowing with certainty what tomorrow is going to be, not knowing either where I will be at the end of each day, yet never losing sight of where I am expected to go. And so I have to take each day as it comes and make the most of it. The ideal is, of course, to keep on walking,'straining ahead..., racing for the finish', as Paul puts it (Philippians 3:13-14)
But actually, a journey is so often a succession of thrusts forward and of setbacks. There are times when we decide to sit down rather than walk on; times when we prefer to take short-cuts, so often too, take us away from the road altogether, and we can waste time and energy walking at random. But all that is part of the venture of a journey, and certainly part of the venture of the journey of discipleship.' - From the author's induction
Pierre Simon, a Missionary of Africa (White Fathers), is from Western France. Ordained in 1951, he took a degree in Scripture at the Biblical Institue of Rome, and spent all his active mission life teaching the Scriptures in London, North Africa, East Africa and finally in Jerusalem where he spent thirteen years, taking part in Renewal Sessions for his confreres and for African Clergy. He now lives in Dublin where his ministry includes retreat work and accompanying Bible groups.
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