What is the meaning of discipleship? The answer to this question can be easily found in a dictionary but the deep meaning of this simple word goes further than a sentence or a description about someone who follows somebody else.
The discipleship is a relationship between two persons, the master and his or her disciple. This relationship has to be an effective and affective bond between both of them. They have to deeply know each other and this profound connection only can occur when the master and the disciple walk together for a long time.
In order to keep the relationship alive, authentic and strong, the master and the disciple require an attitude of listening, observing and obeying the Word of God. Each one has to do this in his own way of being, as a master or as a disciple.
The master is the source of teaching. He is the one who is able to transmit and instruct the disciple. He can do this by giving all his or her knowledge and spirit to the people who follow him. Through his teachings about traditions, costumes, experiences and his own example of life the master will prepare the disciple to be ready to recognize God’s presence in his or her own life and to have authority and independency in his or her acts. With all that, the disciple will have a prophetic spirit, a spirit that leads him or her to do the same that his or her master did. It means spread out the word of God to others. In other words the disciple will become a master to form and prepare other disciples. This process of preparing a disciple is a chain reaction that keeps alive the lamp of the Lord.
The disciple is the one who serves his or her master. The first step to become a disciple is to stay with the master, serves him no matter what the circumstance are. The disciple must always remain with his or her master. This important characteristic of the disciple shows his or her fidelity to his or her master. Besides the disciple has to be opened and attentive to the words of his or her master because they will reveal God’s will for him or her. The words of the master are a channel of God’s voice for the disciple. He will learn trough the relationship with his or her master how to discern and apply God’s words in his current reality. God’s words will become alive in the person so he could give them to all people around him. In that sense the word of God’s will continue acting and giving light to many others like is written in the story of Samuel “The lamp of God had not yet gone out…” I Sam 3,3 or in Exodus “You will order the Israelites to bring you pure pounded olive oil for the light, and to keep a lamp burning all the time.” 27,21
To finish the disciple will be an authentic witness of God’s experience in his own life and when it happens he will be a leader, a master who can keep the lamp of the Lord burning. Following this idea, we are also called through our own God’s experience to give continuity to the lamp of the Lord. We are invited to remain and serve the Master to discover God’s will for us and for others. As our master, Jesus said “Whoever serves me, must follow me, and my servant will be with me wherever I am. If anyone serves me, my Father will honor him.” Jn 2,26
We are very thankful with the Lord and with Sister Ivete who has shared with us all her knowledge and experiences in the bible classes she is giving us.
Nancy Mena Fernández NDS, Novice
Congregational Novitiate Ein Karem, Jerusalem