Let yourself become open to God and the knowledge that comes from the Word. Ask God for peace at this time.
Luke 9:51-62 New Revised Standard Version (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.”
As I reflect on the various jobs I’ve had in my life journey so far, at first glance they wouldn’t seem to have anything in common: jobs in retail; customer service; factory assembly line; recreation; teaching; office administration; accounting; and now pastoral ministry. However, they do have at least one thing in common. In every one of these jobs, I had to leave the what, when, where, and the how of the present job – in order to move on to my next job. No turning back. No hindsight. No regrets. Just forward motion, progress, and growth.
In today’s text in Luke, three people approach our Lord and express a desire to walk and follow Him. Jesus, of course, encourages each to do so; however, in response, each of the three realizes that, before they can follow Jesus, they have various items of unfinished business that they believe they must attend to first. So, they walk away. I wonder if they later regretted their decision?
In my latest job as pastor, as I walked through that open door, the door to the old job – and the old me – closed behind me. By doing this, I had accomplished what I was supposed to have accomplished before I walked through the door. May I strive to do this in my spiritual journey as well!
Father, we thank You for opportunities to serve You in proclaiming Your kingdom as we move forward with You, full throttle. Help us to resist the temptation to look back and dwell on what is behind us. Through Your Son’s most precious name we pray. Amen.
Go with God!