In a short essay in this month’s Give Us This Day, Richard Gaillardetz asks whether we have ever considered by Jesus didn’t write his own Gospel. It is a reasonable question: why didn’t Jesus write a manual of instruction for his followers.
Gaillardetz hazards this guess:
Perhaps [Jesus] thought it more important to create a living community of faith than a written manual. Those Jesus gathered around him were those willing to learn together the ways of God’s reign; in them the Church was established as a kind of “school of discipleship.” As member of this school of discipleship we are all invited into the risky practices of learning and teaching….
Our discipleship calls us to learn the ways of God’s reign. By God’s grace we are to cultivate the practices of justice and mercy. Christian learning is thus more than the simple acquisition of knowledge; it calls for the pursuit of a particular way of life.
The simple question is this: Are we willing to be members of the “school of discipleship”? That is, are we willing to live as Jesus did, as Jesus invited his disciples to live? Are we willing, not to simply acquire knowledge about what Jesus taught, but to pursue the way of life he taught and modeled?