In Australia we are in the midst of the winter Australian Rules Football season. The season leading up to the finals rounds is called the “home and away season”, as teams play both at their home venues and at the grounds of opposition teams.
Christian discipleship is a “home and away” affair. When we hear the word “disciple”, most Christians think of the twelve disciples of Jesus, who journeyed with him from place to place in his ministry. We associate discipleship with being away from home more than in it. But because our homes are where we spend a great deal of time, they are for many of us the key or primary context in which we are called to live out our faith in Jesus. Those we live together with or relate to most closely give us direct daily opportunities for acts of love, service and witness. Our homes are also places where we learn many lessons of faith. In the ups and downs of household life our faith and character are shaped, tested and grown through our interactions with those who know our very best and our very worst.
The call to take up one’s cross and follow Jesus is often not a call into unfamiliar places but to live differently with familiar faces. Jesus summons us to live as his disciples for the full season of our lives … both home and away!