TWO SIMPLE WORDS
“27 After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.” 28 And leaving everything, he rose and followed him.” (Luke 5:27-28)
We live in a world of words. Written and spoken, broadcast and published, posted and texted, words come at us from every direction, every day, every hour, and even every minute. Yet from among them all, two stand out.
Two little words, spoken by a 1st century wandering teacher changed the world, from then until now.
Follow me. Two words, a complete sentence, spoken by Jesus, the Son of God, Messiah, to a tax collector.
Few people would have been more reviled than a tax collector. Known for their greed, dishonesty, and outright theft, tax collectors were the lowest of the low. Yet Jesus calls Levi (likely Matthew) the tax collector into God’s activity of redeeming creation.
Leave it to Jesus to choose the most unlikely, unexpected, and even unacceptable folks to follow and to join his work of salvation. Folks like tax collectors and fishermen, folks like you and me, called into the redemptive, restoring, reconciling work of God.
Like those first disciples, Jesus found us, claimed us, washed us, restored us, and made us children of God. Like those first disciples Jesus sends us to love as we’ve been loved, serve as we’ve been served, and forgive as we are forgiven.
Together and individually, we are a people born, shaped, and empowered by grace. The unexpected, unearned, and undeserved gift of God’s life-giving grace. A grace that can be shared, again and again, and yet never be depleted. A grace that can be grown, cultivated, and spread without ever losing its life-healing power. A grace that is just as potent today, as it was 2,000 years ago.
So, as those called into discipleship, gifted and empowered by God’s grace, we are called and sent to bear Christ to the world. Called and sent to grow grace, live hope, and serve love in all that we do, with all whom we encounter, and in our care for all creation.
Like those who first heard those two powerful words, we rise each day in the promise of our baptism and hear Jesus’ words, Jesus’ call, “follow me”. Therefore, as followers of Jesus, may we trust the one who goes before us. May we know and remember that God will never forsake us. May we celebrate and rejoice that we have been chosen to follow Jesus on the journeys of discipleship as we bear witness to the unshakable, unbreakable, and unstoppable power of God’s love.