Read This Week’s Passage: Matthew 28:16–20
Each generation has emphasized different aspects of Christianity. Some eras have emphasized doctrine, others piety. Some have seen true Christianity as organized institutions, while others reacted and sought decentralized systems of power. Still others have seen their faith manifested in bloodshed and martyrdom, while others see their faith online and spread by satellite technology. Some generations have wanted to be the hands of Christ, serving the poor and needy, while others were moved to become the feet of Christ, entering territories that the church dared not venture into aforetime.
Whether it’s wearing a Christian T-shirt or identifying with religious images and slogans, each generation has seen new creative expressions of Christianity as well as restoring and reviving the virtues of the past. While this ebb and flow of trends and ideas is inevitable, it is also just as important a task for the Christian to find that which is core.
Regardless of trend or time period, whether institutionally loyal or individualistically minded, every Christian needs to follow Jesus personally, to become His disciple, and to discover what discipleship means on a daily basis. This is the most basic interaction between Christ and Christian, among Christians, and within Christianity. Handed down from one person to another starting from two millennia ago, the art of Christian discipleship has kept the movement of Jesus alive and the gospel spreading from person to person, and from age to age. It is in this discipleship context that the teachings of Jesus, the work of the church, lifestyle commitments and habits, and the evangelistic spread of the gospel all take place.