Going Home By Another Way

lydia wkBy Lydia Wylie-Kellermann, co-editor of RadicalDiscipleship.Net

*This is the sixth installation of a year-long series of posts from contributors all over North America each answering the question, “How would you define radical discipleship?” We will be posting responses regularly on Mondays during 2019.

Radical Discipleship

Summons stories-
Communal ones of laughter and longings,
Ancestral ones with pain and truth and roots,
Ancient ones with context that can change the course of our lives.

Radical Discipleship

Plants seeds, saves seeds, shares seeds.
Puts them in the soil as sacred wonder,
as food for the mouths of our family and neighbors,
And as part of begging forgiveness for what we have done to seed and soil.
Plants seeds of our lives rooting in place,
falling in love with the ground where we stand,
Learning her history, and tending its future.
Shares seeds of hope in a time when the world feels barren and ready to ignite,
Yet here come the seeds of resistance, imagination, and hope.

It echoes of Dorothy Day saying that love is the only solution.
It heeds Dan Berrigan’s call to stand somewhere.
It joins what Martin Luther King calls for by nurturing Beloved Community.

Radical Discipleship

Is the tradition that calls upon
the courage of Shiprah and Puah, Miriam, Ruth, Mary Magdalene,
the writings from jail cells of Paul and Silas and John,
and calls us towards the risks of birthing in the face of a dragon.

Radical Discipleship

Depends on people gathering
But needs no institution, no building, no marble.
It needs just 2 or 3 to gather
To open the good book and the newspaper
And to ask the questions and share our lives.

Radical Discipleship

Claims the cultural and historical roots of a tradition
that it is a piece of our ancestral line,
And part of that, means confessing, reparations, listening, and sorrow
For Constantine’s sword, for slave owner theology, for the Doctrine of Discovery,
For ongoing appropriation, hegemony, and for the rise of empires that carry the cross.

Radical Discipleship

Knows that those of us who carry the cross
Are meant to walk the underbelly of empire
To love from the margins.
We know that the cross was (and is) used as a violent threat of suppression by empire,
Yet it is also a sign that neither empire nor death shall have the final word.

Radical Discipleship

encourages experiments of going home by another way
Calls to us to slow down and be where we are,
To be steeped in love for one another,
Gratitude for the cloud of witnesses,
And steadfast work for the generations to come.

Radical Discipleship

Leads us to unexpected places
So before we sign on the dotted line, we all should know,
We might end up with your hands covered in dirt,
Or spending nights in jail,
Or turning a guest room into hospitality space,
Or giving up all your money
And joining a Catholic Worker.
We might stop to admire the lilies,
Or start writing poetry,
Or falling in-love.
We might turn off your TV,
Or begin asking forgiveness,
And turning our lives upside down and forever.
So, be careful.

Radical Discipleship

Is love,
Joy,
Beauty,
Sorrow,
Community,
Hope,
Resistance,
And a loving embrace
Of history
And all that is to come.
In gratitude
That I get to do all of that
With you.

One of the Flawed and Ragtag Band

dee deeBy Dee Dee Risher (Philly, PA)

*This is the fifth installation of a year-long series of posts from contributors all over North America each answering the question, “How would you define radical discipleship?” We will be posting responses regularly on Mondays during 2019.

Discipleship is hard enough without the “radical” word in front of it. Often when I hear the phrase unpacked, there is a focus on radical (“root”), and what it entails. In our current context, community, and point of history, how should the taproot of our faith look?

That is a beautiful and rich question, but I find myself grappling with the word “discipleship” instead, pondering that ragtag band of twelve that followed the bold, enigmatic teacher around the backwaters of Galilee in Palestine. Continue reading

Radical Surrender and Commitment to ‘Your Thread’

marciaBy Marcia Lee (Detroit, MI)

*This is the fourth installation of a year-long series of posts from contributors all over North America each answering the question, “How would you define radical discipleship?” We will be posting responses regularly on Mondays during 2019.

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

William Stafford Continue reading