We are: Mentors who draw people around Jesus through life-long learning

There are two words that have been used to define those who follow Jesus.   One is disciple, the other is pilgrim.  A disciple is one who chooses to leave the life he or she has known and seeks to follow in the truth, the way, and the life of Jesus and his teachings.  We seek to learn his commands, namely how to love God, but also to love others around us, and not just our neighbors but also our enemies.  But then we are also called to invite others to be co-learners with us, people from all walks of life despite their economic background, their race, their political views, their sexual orientation, their education, or whatever else that may separate us from one another.

The other word, pilgrim, is one who is on a journey into the unknown in search of something sacred.  Pilgrims must find their way, but in order to do so they must have a working knowledge of the tools that they will use to find their way.  In the faith journey, those tools would be our sacred text, The Holy Bible, the community of believers, the church; prayer; spiritual gifts, the fruit of the Spirit, as well as many, many others.  Our journey within this life as those who follow Jesus’ teachings would be to extend God’s healing, restoration, and salvation to the world.  But the journey’s end is not in this world; it extends beyond this life, so the pilgrimage is additionally towards a hope that is somewhere beyond this life, and in union with God.

In order to be a pilgrim and a disciple, we cannot do it alone.  We need mentors, a trusted friend, counselor or teacher, usually a more experienced person who can provide us direction, encouragement or insight to where we currently are.   And since none of us has this Jesus-thing figured out, we are all in the position of being in need of mentors.  But since we all have some experience with things in this life, we also are in the position of being able to mentor someone else as we continually learn how to navigate this journey of faith, hope, and love.