Don’t forget, we are starting on the Advent Conspiracy, today/Wednesday at 6:30pm. It’s going to be interesting, educational, and great fun. Please join us!
Luke 14:25-33 The Message
25-27One day when large groups of people were walking along with him, Jesus turned and told them, “Anyone who comes to me but refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters—yes, even one’s own self!—can’t be my disciple. Anyone who won’t shoulder his own cross and follow behind me can’t be my disciple.
28-30″Is there anyone here who, planning to build a new house, doesn’t first sit down and figure the cost so you’ll know if you can complete it? If you only get the foundation laid and then run out of money, you’re going to look pretty foolish. Everyone passing by will poke fun at you: ‘He started something he couldn’t finish.’
31-32″Or can you imagine a king going into battle against another king without first deciding whether it is possible with his ten thousand troops to face the twenty thousand troops of the other? And if he decides he can’t, won’t he send an emissary and work out a truce?
33″Simply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it good-bye, you can’t be my disciple.
This isn’t a very good recruitment spiel. “Be willing to lose everything you hold dear; be ready to give it up if you want to follow me.” If growing numerically was Jesus’ plan, he sure didn’t show it!
Jesus wanted, and continues to want disciples who are willing to give everything to following him. It’s one thing to say that we are willing to go along with God’s plans and make whatever sacrifices are necessary and another to actually do it.
In some countries people risk their very lives to be Christians. They know what it means to be disciples, to sacrifice for God, for their faith. What about us? To call ourselves Christians in the United States is not a risky proposition.
However, to live as Christians is risky in all places and all times. To live as Christians means to care for the needy, to eat with the homeless, to reach out and bring into our families and circles of friends those who the world says are trash. It means that we become personally involved with people who may not “measure up” by the world’s standards. It means that we pay attention to the injustices of the world and do what we can with what we have to make a stand for justice—in the small things and in the larger things.
Holy One, help us to stand up for justice, to do what is right. Help us to recognize our cross when it comes before us. Let us have enough courage to pick it up and carry it as we follow you. Bless your little ones who’ve been pushed down, ran over, abused, and oppressed—let us be a blessing to them as well. Amen.