A Word from the Pastor - September 5, 2019
September 6th, 2019
Shortly after Jesus told a story about God's extravagant welcome of the poor, the lame, and the blind, and after saying, "Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in," (Luke 14:23) he said some words that are at best both difficult to understand and also somewhat frightening. He said, "none of you can become my disciples if you do not give up all your possessions." (Luke 14:33) Jesus' comment about needing to give up our possessions is not the only difficult thing to understand that he said that day. He also said that we have to carry a cross, and that we need to count the cost before following. These are tough words to be sure.
Do you think that Jesus means for us to take these words seriously? Do you suppose Jesus really meant that we are to give up everything if we wish to follow him? And, if he was serious about us needing to give up our possessions in order to become his disciples, what does that mean for us who have a lot of things?
Perhaps we could try to explain Jesus' tough words away by suggesting that they are no longer valid in our day-and-time. But that would seem to be taking a rather selective approach to scripture. Or, perhaps we could try to find a way to "water them down" so they are more comfortable. I suspect that has often happened in the history of biblical interpretation. Or, perhaps we could wrestle with them until we come to understand what they mean for us in 2019. My hope is that we will choose to wrestle with them together.
I hope to see you Sunday as we explore these words.