Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s groundbreaking work, “The Cost of Discipleship,” is cherished by people of faith from across the political, ideological and cultural spectrums. Whether you identify with one political party or another, hold tightly to this or that ethical principle, you are bound to find wisdom in Bonhoeffer’s words.
The carefully chosen English title, “The Cost of Discipleship,” illustrates the book’s theme and content, but the heading Bonhoeffer assigned to his German edition was more straightforward. Atop the pages of the earliest printing, he wrote the word “Nachfolge,” which can be translated as “Follow.” This pithy title makes clear the young theologian’s unapologetic aim. As scholar and youth minister Andy Root has said, the goal of this book is to provoke a “direct, immediate, and faithful following of Jesus Christ.”
Within the pages of what has become one of Bonhoeffer’s most influential works, we catch a glimpse of a pastor’s heart for his community of faith. We bear witness to the deep-seated conviction that the call to follow Jesus supersedes (maybe even counteracts) our ideological loyalties, moral convictions, and institutional commitments. The call to follow is an invitation to walk in the footsteps of a person, to encounter Jesus of Nazareth in the lived experience of Christian community.
Our church’s Confirmands have gathered throughout the 2017-2018 program year to consider whether or not they wish to follow Jesus on the costly path of discipleship. Those who desire to be confirmed will be presenting their “Disciple Projects” this Sunday, May 13 at the Confirmation Expo in the gym following the 10:00 a.m. worship service.
This year’s Expo provides an opportunity for BMPC members of all ages to celebrate our young folks as they make final preparations for Confirmation and Pentecost Sunday on May 20. Like all of us, young disciples need to know they are surrounded by a community of faith that will support them as they make their way along the path of faith. Come, grab a cup of coffee or a snack, and celebrate God’s presence in the lives of a new group of young people who have heard and responded to Christ’s call to follow.