March 2, 2009



By Michael Sherer, director of information technology
THIS WEEK’S THEME: It depends on faith

DEVOTIONAL: If I were to make a “Top 10 List” of Anabaptist/Mennonite quotes, somewhere near the top would be Hans Denck’s memorable statement that “No one can truly know Christ except he follow Him in life.” Mennonites love this quote because it embodies our cherished belief that the essence of Christianity is discipleship — following Jesus.

But Denck wasn’t finished with his thought. He goes on to say “And no one can follow him except by knowing him.” As good as the first half is, the full quote is much richer and worthy of contemplation. It invites you into its circular logic; to wrestle with the tension between following and knowing, knowing and following, faith and practice. Denck reminds us that as important as the life of discipleship is, it is dependent on and empowered by faith.


Lord Jesus, we know you through the words of Scripture and through the writings and lives of those who have loved you and followed you throughout history. May our faith draw us to be your disciples, and in following you, may we come to know you fully. In your name we pray. Amen.



Comments (8)

  1. THank you for the lovely challange. The words are a wonderful reminder of the best way to live our lives. May our faith become our guide on this Monday morning leading into World Day of Prayer on Friday. Pam

    Pam Harrison March 2, 2009 |
  2. I’m grateful for these meditations each day and for the opportunity to comment. The Hans Denck quote has long been a favorite of mine, too, and I love the clear way you describe the need for both following and knowing. Thank you for these wise words as the birds sing and the ground under the remaining snow prepares for spring.

    Shirley H. Showalter March 2, 2009 |
  3. Thank you, technician Scherer, for sharing out of your personal faith. The words of Denck remind me of the words of Jesus, “If anyone is willing to do God’s will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is from God or whether I speak of myself.” (Jn. 7:7 NASB) I find that when I seek to follow a teaching of Jesus he becomes more real to me and I can understand more of his teachings. Thank you.

    Harold E. Bauman March 2, 2009 |
  4. Thank you for reminding us that the “knowing” and the “following” must be interconnected. One without the other is not “The Way.” The personal relationship with Christ is only complete when we express it through service/discipleship.

    Carol Head March 2, 2009 |
  5. Mr Sherer, I too appreciate the quote in your devotional. Now, I would like to see your other nine for “A Top Ten” list to be published or shared somewhere. What a blessing that would be.

    rosella wiens regier March 2, 2009 |
  6. I appreciated your devotion about the importance of praxis–doing, reflecting (or following and knowing). What I also appreciated is your comment that we also get to know Jesus from the discoveries of Christians throughout history. I have recently discovered how powerful it is to study the dedicated lives of others–and their experience of Christ and the claims it then put on their lives. We don’t have to (nor should we) try to “know Jesus” all on our own, without the valuable insights of those in our tradition who lived before us. (It’s not just “all about me.”) Thank you!

    Kathy March 2, 2009 |
  7. Thank you so much for sharing this. When Jesus invited men to, “Follow me”, it was an invitation to begin to know Him. The first step started them on an adventure they would never have dreamed of before following Him.

    Lorraine March 2, 2009 |
  8. I love the prayer God bless you and thankx be to him for revealing this massage to you.

    SUSAN BIRUNGI March 2, 2009 |