Discipleship and trust
December 22, 2021 | Emily Howell
About the author: Emily joined ZPC in the summer of 2018. She has been a part of the ZPC high school ministry (HSM) ever since. She lives in Brownsburg with her mom and dad. She has a sister in Chicago and a brother at Trine University. When Emily is not at church, you can find her with the Brownsburg band, leading FCA meetings every Friday morning, or working at Panera. She is a senior at Brownsburg High School and participates in marching band, jazz band, pep band, and orchestra. She plans on going to college for elementary education and recently performed in the 2021 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
Today's scripture: Luke 2:15-20
After reading through this passage multiple times, there were many ideas that crossed my mind. The two that really stuck with me are discipleship and trust. These two ideas make sense to pop out because in FCA this year we are talking about growing in discipleship as a school and branching out into the community. FCA stands for Fellowship of Christian Athletes. It is a student run Christian organization at my school and I have the pleasure of being the president. At the beginning of the school year, I had to prepare a speech for our first meeting that introduced our main theme for this year. The overall topic was discipleship. I talked about how being a disciple can be shown in various ways from singing, living out your faith, or simply doing the biblical definition of a disciple and going out to spread the word about God.
When looking at today's scripture passage, there is discipleship present in a time when the exact term of a disciple was unheard of. The shepherds heard the good news from the angel and went off to go see what it was about. Once they saw Jesus, the shepherds left to tell everyone what they saw about the child. They were spreading the great news of Jesus’ birth for everyone to hear.
This passage also brings in ideas of trust. The idea of trust has been on my mind for the past couple of weeks because in HSM we are talking about trust and how there is a plan for us but it can sometimes be hard to trust it. There have been many events in my past that make me question if God has a plan for me. If there is a plan, then why do terrible events happen? For example, why was moving to a different state a part of the plan even though I was living a great life in Illinois for 13 years? When I first moved to Indiana, I had to put a lot of trust in God. I knew he had a plan for me in Indiana but I wasn’t seeing it at first. My trust started to decline. However, it wasn’t until the middle of my freshman year in high school that I started to see some of the plan. During my freshman year, I was told that I would be performing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I knew I would not have gotten that opportunity in my old town. Then I went on the New York City mission trip with ZPC and I knew I would not have gotten that opportunity in my old town. All throughout high school I have had opportunities that I would have been able to get if I still lived in my old town. All of these opportunities allowed me to grow as a person, a leader, and a follower of Christ. They have shown me different perspectives that have helped me grow. I had to trust in God's plan and keep pushing through. The shepherds had to do the same things as well. At the beginning of the scripture reading they were told by an angel of the great news. They decided to go to Bethlehem to see the great news that the Lord had brought. They had to trust what the angels were saying and go to Bethlehem. If I was in the same situation as them I don’t know if I would go. I would have been scared and unsure. It's those times when you are scared and unsure that you really have to put your trust in God because that will be when you need it most.
Create a list on either a notepad or the notes section on your phone. Think through your life and pick your top 5 to 10 moments that define you. It's these moments that highlight God's plan. Your list will reflect who you are and show the good and hard moments in your life. When looking at your plan you are reminded that those hard moments have led you to where you are today. If those moments weren’t there you wouldn’t be the person you are today. It is all a part of God’s plan; you just have to trust him.
I pray that as this Christmas season is approaching, we remember to be your disciples and bring in the news of our savior's birth. I also pray that we remember to trust you in times that are tough. Even when we are scared and unsure, we put our trust in you.