Praying Towards Sunday for September 4th, 2016
Reflections towards Sunday
Sr. Greta Ronningen, CDL
Well, it would be a lot easier to write on the passage that comes after this one in Luke - The Parable of the Lost Sheep. But this passage is not that. This has to do with the Cost of Discipleship.
Jesus tells the crowds that those who do not hate their mother and father, wife and children, brothers and sisters cannot be his disciples. Yikes. He tells them to carry the cross and follow him or they cannot be his disciple, which must have been a confusing idea to the crowds. He warns them to think this whole thing through - comparing discipleship to a king waging a war and making sure that he has what it takes to prevail, otherwise he should send out a delegation to make peace. And this passage ends with Jesus telling them that they cannot be his disciple without giving up all possessions.
It seems that Jesus does not want casual followers. He wants them and he wants us to understand, there is a real seriousness of purpose here. Jesus wants us to make a sacrifice and not just serve him by saying the right things. It seems he is telling us to put him in the center of our lives – above all else.
Men and women behind bars get this. They get that this needs to be a life-changing relationship. They understand that their spiritual growth might create conflict with their family and friends. They may well be ridiculed for their jailhouse conversion. And they understand that nothing can be more important to them – that their very life may depend on it.
This is a powerful and challenging passage – Jesus tells us to hate even life itself to be his disciple.
Do you put Christ in the center of your life? Or are you so in love with your life that Jesus is on the side – an afterthought? What would it look like to take his words to heart? What adjustments might be made to be a more devout disciple? How could you live a more sacrificial Christian life? What might that cost you?