Afew week ago our family spent some time at the ocean and our son took up the ancient craft of skipping rocks on the water. When he succeeded the first time he called us with excitement: “Mom and Dad come and look!”. All of us moved towards his contagious excitement.
Liam picked up a rock and advanced towards the water’s edge. As he hurled the rock into the water it plummeted into the depths without skipping once on the water. We all felt the disappointment. Then he looked up from his misadventure and said, “That’s ok I’m still learning.”
“That’s ok, I’m still learning” is the mantra of discipleship – a word that literally means learner. As disciples we are also living within the kingdom adventure of learning to skip our lives on the Rock. Churches consist of people learning Christ (Eph 4:20). If this doesn’t happen churches degenerate. Today (31 October) we celebrate Martin Luther’s posting of the 95 theses on a church building’s door (remember the building is not the church). He started his theses with the following invitation:
When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, “Repent” (Mt 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.
Like my son Liam we are invited to say “I am still learning”. This is the lifetime adventure of discipleship and its life-giving invitation to repent. Larry Crabb sums it up in a beautiful way,
The first of Luther’s 95 Theses was about brokenness, that Jesus willed that the whole life of believers should be repentance. In other words, brokenness is the ongoing, lifelong reality. It isn’t something you get past. It’s a continually deepening revelation of your own impotence without the Spirit. That’s why you meet people in their eighties, godly men and women, who say, “I think I’m just beginning to grasp the gospel – Larry Crabb (quoted in Len Sweet’s wonderful book ‘I am a Follower’)
On this day I am excited to declare Jesus as Lord and Teacher and declaring, “I am still learning”.