Caleb wrestled with Jesus' words on discipleship this Sunday. In fact, he used the opportunity to make a point about how we should think about approaching God's word. We are meant to wrestle with God as we read, listen, and struggle to make sense of things that are bigger than us and elude the categories we usually think in. He offered Jacob wrestling with God in the OT as an example. Jacob wins but leaves with a limp. Better to limp after wrestling with God than to walk easily without wrestling. The passage that needed to be wrestled with was the one where Jesus has some hard things to say about being his disciple. What do you do with challenging words like these?!
"....Someone said to him, I will follow you wherever you go. 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.” Luke 9:57-62
Caleb wondered suggested that those who say these challenges are meant to be heard as hyperbole are taking the teeth out of what it means to be a disciple. And those who want to focus on how culturally and historically removed these demands are from our context focus on the interpretive complexity at the expense of figuring out the plain sense of how Jesus' words ought to challenge us here and now. He suggested that the better way for us is to wrestle with the reality that to follow Jesus is to move us away from the idolatry of living a comfortable life. A willingness to follow Jesus will challenge us to love our neighbor rather than find ways to demonize them (a point that his own disciples don't learn until after the resurrection and the coming of the spirit - case in point is the fact that right before Jesus' challenges about discipleship is an ugly moment when his closest disciples ask permission to kill the Samaritans with fire from heaven! Luke 9:51-56 ).
Caleb began his homily by pointing out that in a world where so many people check the box "Christian" (and he mentioned a WIDE variety of public figures to make his point) it can be confusing to think about what it means to actually follow Jesus. He ended his homily by pointing out that the only way to clear up the confusion is to actually listen to Jesus and follow him to the cross.
- Pray for our community, Lakeview. Pray for safety for those participating in the Pride Parade.
- Pray for those in West Virginia affected by flooding.
- Pray for courage to follow Christ wherever he leads us.
- The next dinners with Grace is July 8th! It's a Friday evening dinner, so mark your calendars. Vic and Tiffany will be hosting us at Pd. D Pub in University Village. Kids are welcome! This is a great opportunity to meet some new folks.
- A monthly gathering of women is beginning on July 14th. Megan Miller and Whitney Stewart are hosting a casual gathering. And and all women are invited! More details to come.
- A Church picnic is scheduled for July 17th. We will all meet at Waveband Picnic Field for a picnic. We hope to see you there!