If you’ve followed my blog for a while,
You know I attend church every Sunday,
And I usually try to take sermon notes.
As I listen, I try to record the message poetically.
Our pastor, Rev. Mary Grace Reynolds,
is doing a bold sermon series.
She’s asking our church congregants
to send her scripture that puzzles or troubles them.
This week the scripture passage she used
is from Luke 9:57-62. A weird one indeed!
I’ve often thought Jesus was rather harsh
with these two men who wanted to follow Him.
New International Version
The Cost of Following Jesus
57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”
62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
Today’s sermon notes:
The mid-west mecca of modern architecture
Is Columbus, Indiana. Ever been there?
I watched the movie, “Columbus,” recently.
Jinn & Casey meet and share.
Ultimately the movie is about
Staying or leaving – choices we make.
Casey needs to go, but doesn’t want to.
Jinn convinces her to leave for her own sake.
Jesus may have been telling the men
To leave for their own sake.
Their situations were different,
But departure was what it would take.
Jewish burial rites have many parts:
Wrapping body, burial, dig up, burn, urn…
In this scripture a man wants to tend to his father.
Jesus prompts, “Come now and learn.”
We don’t know at what point in the rites
This man’s father may have been –
But it seems harsh for Jesus to tell him
“Let the dead bury their dead.” Such chagrin!
Another man wants to go back to his family,
But Jesus says, “Do not do an about face!”
This passage is all about priorities.
Jesus asks us to put Him in first place.
Love is not selfish, sinking in its talons.
Love is generous – love always is kind.
There often is sadness in leaving,
But when God calls, listen, decide, and mind!
Don’t get stuck looking back (like Lot’s wife).
You’ll become a pillar in your own tears and grief.
It’s all about priorities and obedience.
Hear God’s call and follow your belief!
What is it that determines your values and beliefs?
Perhaps Jesus was not being harsh with those two men after all.
Perhaps, like Jinn and Casey in the movie, “Columbus,”
He was telling them to leave for their own sake –
even though they didn’t want to go quite yet.
Sometimes God’s perfect timing doesn’t seem perfect…
… at least not at the time He jerks us out of our comfort zone!
But often, looking back, we can say, “Aha! Now I see…
God always knows what is best for me!”
Jesus’ words may seem harsh at first glance,
But He always has our best interest at heart.
I need to trust His encouragement to step out…
And what better time than now to start?
See ya on the road to success tomorrow (God willing)