September 10, 2019
Scripture Luke 14:25-33
“Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ ”
Luke 14:27-30 NRSV
This scripture finds Jesus and the disciples traveling to Jerusalem, where Jesus knows that he will be arrested and killed. No one else understands this, including those closest to him: the disciples. Given his growing popularity in Galilee, a number of people seem interested in joining up with Jesus and his followers. But, Jesus tells them that this is going to be a very difficult thing to accomplish. The verses of scripture at the beginning and at the end of our selected scripture lay out extreme forms of sacrifice: giving up family and all possessions. He also points out that building any project, such as a nearby tower or a new movement based on faith, requires dedication, as well.
Of course, wealth and possessions are principle topics for Jesus throughout the Gospels. Jesus points out that there is no security in these material things despite the way often feel about being safe and protected, especially economically. But, Jesus points out that our salvation is secure: it is part of our faith and the gift of God’s grace. But, living out this new life as a disciple requires inner strength and a lot of conviction!
As we enter the end of summer and the beginning of fall, where is Christ in our list of priorities? Are we able to maintain our Faith, despite setbacks and becoming discouraged? If not in physical terms, how do we frame our personal commitment to Christ’s call? Despite our imperfect approach to living out our faith, where do we look for strength and courage?
The message here is clear: through Christ, his death, his resurrection, and his reigning power, God remains the strong tower for our faith and our life in Christ.