The Lenten season gives us a unique opportunity to consider how we can follow Jesus. Following Jesus is an ongoing process and one that looks different in the digital age.
And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”
In Mark 1:17, Jesus calls Simon, Andrew, James, and John to follow him. They left behind their livelihoods as fishermen and became fishers of men. This invitation to follow Jesus is not just for those four men. It is for all of us as well. The call to become a disciple is as important now as it was 2,000 years ago.
Responding to God’s call in the digital age
In the digital world we live in now, it can be easy to forget about our call to be disciples. We can get so caught up in our social media feeds, online shopping, and streaming services that we forget our call to discipleship.
But Lent is a season of introspection and reorientation. It’s time to take a step back from the digital world and focus on our relationship with God. In our digital world, it can be easy to think that happiness and fulfilment can be found in gadgets or online connections.
But the only way to find real joy is through a relationship with God. Lent is a time for us to repent of our worldly desires and refocus our hearts and minds on God.
Obedience in the Digital Age:
And immediately they (Peter and Andrew) left their nets and followed him. – Matthew 4:20
And they (James and John) left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him. Mark 1:20
Obedience is another aspect of discipleship. According to Mark 1:18, Simon Peter and Andrew immediately abandoned their nets and followed him. Likewise, James and John did the same when Jesus called them. These men followed Jesus without any hesitance. They were eager because they understood the significance of obedience and the call to discipleship.
It can be far too easy to become distracted and disobedient in the digital world. We may spend hours scrolling through social media or binge-watching our favourite television shows rather than praying or reading the Bible. Often, this can result in feelings of guilt and regret, but it is important to remember that Jesus is always willing to forgive.
During Lent, we should change our priorities and follow the call to be a disciple. We can use this period to turn away from our screens and into prayer, reflecting on the grace and mercy of God, and committing ourselves to a life of service and obedience
Sacrifice in the Digital World
Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you – Matthew 19:27
Finally, discipleship involves sacrifice. In Mark 1:16–17, we see that Simon and Andrew “left their nets and followed him.” These men gave up their livelihoods to become fishers of men. Similarly, James and John left their father and their boat to follow Jesus.
In our digital world, we may be called to make sacrifices as well. We may need to give up our screen time or limit our use of social media to prioritise our relationship with God. We may also be called to make financial sacrifices to support the church’s work or give to those in need.
Lent is a time for us to reflect on what sacrifices we can make to better serve God and our neighbours. We must examine how we use our time, money, and technology in light of what God calls us to do.
In our digital world, it can be easy to become distracted and forget about our mission as disciples of Christ. May we turn away from our worldly wants, follow His call, and make the sacrifices to be true followers of Christ. May we each take the time this Lenten season to reflect on our call to discipleship and how we can better serve God in our digital world.
The call to discipleship is just as relevant today as it was 2,000 years ago.But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you – Mt 6: 33
This is part 2 of the series “Discipleship”. You may also like to read: Discipleship in Mark’s Gospel: Five key insights
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