Ancient church mothers and fathers often greeted one another with the phrase, “Give me a word.” This greeting led to the sharing of insights and wisdom. Today we continue this tradition with this monthly column.
By Rev. Mandy Sayers
Pastor, Covenant UMC, Gaithersburg
“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” (1 Cor. 11:1)
It seems at first that Paul is being conceited. Oh really, Paul? Imitate you? What happened to humility?
Yet in the church, we learn to be disciples by following the examples of others. Like an apprentice, learning a craft on the job, we follow in the footsteps of folks with more experience. We follow their example. Ask a leader in your church how they became a leader and you will hear names of folks who brought them along, taught
Particularly in the current political climate, people are looking to us, whether we like it or not, to see what a Christian looks like. How
Our son, Nathan, is a junior in high school who runs cross-country. When I read Paul’s words to him, he said, “Oh no, Paul isn’t being conceited.” He said that when he was at his first practice, he thought he was going to die from fatigue. He wanted to stop running and collapse. Suddenly next to him, there was Alexei, an upperclassman. He said, “Don’t stop running. It’s actually easier to run this than to walk it. Run with me. Match my pace, do what I do.”
Now, Nathan is the upperclassman who helps folks at the back of the pack during practice. Nathan said, “Paul is being a good teammate. He’s bringing folks along. I couldn’t follow the lead guy—he was too fast; I could hardly see him. But I could follow Alexei. And eventually, I got better, by following his example.”
Christ is the ultimate perfect example, but we are all examples too. Let us be so connected to Jesus that we can come alongside folks in the struggle and say, “Don’t give up. Match my steps. Imitate me.”