Last Sunday, we celebrated Father’s Day. And for most of us, we gave thanks for our earthly Fathers. Most of us love our earthly fathers and are endlessly grateful for the love, support and encouragement our earthly fathers have given us. But it’s interesting that less than one week after this earthly, man-made celebration, in our Gospel this week, Christ tells us “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”
Wow, that’s radical. That’s turning our world, as we know it, upside down. That’s Christ!
Putting anything of this world before Christ means we are putting him second, at least! Many times He’s not even second. Who among us can say we always put Christ first in our lives? Probably not many of us. Perhaps we have those finite times in our lives when we commune with God; we are keenly aware of His presence; we are completely obedient to Him; we put Him first. But for most of us, these times represent a very small percentage of our lives.
Why do we do this? Why do we put these transient, unreliable, unrewarding, earthly “things”, yes, and even earthly relationships, in front of Christ? There are as many answers to that as there are stars in the sky.
So what do we do? How do we change this earthly priority system? The “Live Application Study Bible” suggests in its footnote for this passage that as “we loosen our greedy grasp on earthly reward” we will be “free to follow Christ”. Doesn’t that phrase just give you goosebumps? “Free to follow Christ”. OK, I’m IN!
But how do we do THIS? Ah yes, always the “how”. I guess for me, it will be the same way I seem to do everything: take “baby steps”. I will try to loosen my iron grip on earthly things, desires, and actions and yes, even relationships, so I can create more time and space and desire to follow Christ. And in following Christ, I know He will use me for His good purpose. But will this work every day? Will I be mindful and intentional of this every day? Probably not. But I think I have a much better chance of doing this, more days than not, by being a part of this place, Church of Our Saviour. Surrounding myself with other Christian soldiers who themselves are trying to fight the good fight and follow Christ is a good start.
So let’s remember when we see each other on the patio this Sunday that yes, we do love one another and our families. But let’s also remember we are all here, in this place, to remind and support one another to live our lives so we can be “free to follow Christ”.