As you quiet yourself for this brief time, be willing to be open to God in whatever way that may take place.
Luke 9:51-62 (NRSV)
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village.
As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
How many times have we said, “I’ll be glad to do this or that, but I need to do something else first”? All too often we get caught up in what is happening around us. We make excuses as to why things are not done or why we can’t do something else—especially when it comes to following the practices of our faith.
We have all heard, and likely used, excuses for not attending church, praying, reading the Bible, and so forth. “Sunday is the only time I have so spend with my family and relax.” “If only the league didn’t schedule ball games on Sunday, we would be there.” “I work long hours and am too tired to read the Bible or pray before I go to bed.”
Jesus clearly says in this passage that the earthly things can wait. It is most important to follow him. Jesus is not going to wait around on those who make excuses as to why they are not doing God’s work. In fact, scripture shows if we are not willing to follow Jesus and his teachings, he will simply turn and go.
Jesus’ sights were set on Jerusalem, not on those who were making excuses. Jesus had been called to follow the way God set forth for him, which results in redemption for us. Our sight should also be set to follow God’s way.
Gracious and loving God, help me to put you first in my life. I pray that I might become aware when I make excuses for not doing what you have called me to do. I do want to make you first in my life today and always. Amen.
Go with God.