In this session of the Emmaus Road facilitated by Erika Brown, participants were asked to explore some verses from the Gospel of Mark coupled with pictures. The opportunity was given for people to share what came up for them in light of a set of focus questions after the verse were read.
The specific principle used was that of discipleship. What is discipleship? What defines the concept of disciple? How can this concept illuminate stories of the Word?
Disciples traditionally have the meaning of ‘follower’. This word is used in religious contexts as meaning someone who purposely pursues and studies religious text with the idea of embodying what is taught. Discipleship for Christians can also have a strong element of someone who feels chosen by Jesus to follow the Christian faith.
There are good things that can result from identifying with this meaning of the term disciple. It can hone a sense of purpose or mission, helping us to work as if from ourselves. In this exploration of things we seek to expand our sense of the meaning of discipleship and enter into more fully the message of what the Gospels and Mark in particular has to say. To only take the literal description of discipleship as the entire description, would only be part of the story, for a great part of Mark paints some very inadequate disciples, with good intentions. The disciples question, misunderstand, sleep through important events and betray the Lord, but yet they go out and preach and heal.
The group was asked to set aside the typical ideas of disciple, and look toward what disciple is in their inner processes.
In preparation for the gathering, participants were asked to read and reflect on following two numbers beforehand and note any conflicts that presented between their ideas of disciple and the passages. They were also asked to note any apparent contradictions between the two passages.
And since ‘twelve’ means all things it is evident that ‘the twelve tribes’ means all things constituting the Church, which, as stated above, are truth and good, or faith and love. The same is also true of ‘the twelve apostles’ who as well represented all things constituting the Church, that is, all things of faith and love. AC 3858
From these things it is manifest what is meant by these words of the Lord, namely, the first state of the church’s perversion, which comes to pass when men begin no longer to know what is good and what is true, but dispute among themselves concerning them, whence arise falsities. As this is the first state, it is said that “the end is not yet,” and that “these things are the beginning of sorrows;” and this state is called “earthquakes in diverse places,” which signifies in the internal sense a change of the state of the church in part, or at first. That all this was said to the disciples, signifies that it is said to all who are of the church, for the twelve disciples represented all such. AC 3354