Pay attention to the tension in your body. Let go of it and any expectations to do anything other than God’s will today. Prepare yourself to hear God’s word.
Luke 14:25-33 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Now large crowds were traveling with him; and he turned and said to them, “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. 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.’ Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace. So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.
In his book, The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer reminds us that while the grace of Christ is free, it’s not cheap. It cost Jesus everything to live out God’s love in flesh and spirit. So with us, following the Way of Jesus demands our own willingness to pay the price of true commitment. Jesus did not mince words when he cautioned his would-be-followers to consider the cost! The way of Christ is the way of the cross. It is the way that leads through the valley of the shadow of death. But hear the good news: Jesus has already walked that valley and he walks it now with us and with all who will follow on the Way of resurrected life that starts now, and lasts forever.
Loving God, Help us to remember the great Love you have poured out upon us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, the Christ. Empower us by your living Spirit to embody Christ’s living Way of unlimited mercy and love. Draw us daily nearer to you in all we do and in all we are even when that means we have to walk through death valley—especially then. In the living name of Jesus we pray,
Go with God!