You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
— 2 Timothy 2:1
An old saying about mentoring and apprenticeships goes something like this: “I do, you watch; I do, you help; You do, I help; You do, I watch.”
Jesus trained his disciples in a way like this, and they passed along to others what they learned from him. An apprentice commits to learning from a master and then becomes experienced and able to teach others.
In our Scripture reading for today, Paul urges Timothy to remember his training and to pass it along to reliable people who can teach others. By his grace, God wants to be in relationship with us in Christ, to fill us with his Holy Spirit, and to show us how to live fully so that we share all this with others. God wants us to be his apprentices.
A powerful image in The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis illustrates this well. This unusual book is written from the perspective of a demon (or devil) who is attempting to explain God’s great plan for humankind: “One must face the fact that all the talk about [God’s] love for men, and His service being perfect freedom, is not (as one would gladly believe) mere propaganda, but an appalling truth. [God] really does want to fill the universe with a lot of loathsome little replicas of Himself—creatures whose life, on its miniature scale, will be qualitatively like His own . . . because their wills freely conform to His.”
Dear Jesus, thank you for modeling what it means to truly live. Make us the apprentices you need, that we may share with others the way to full life with you. Amen.