Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Counting the Costs

In this weekend's Gospel reading Jesus says some tough stuff to those who would follow him, including that they are to hate father and mother; they are to carry their own cross; they are to count the cost of being a disciple including giving up their possessions. These are hard sayings and Jesus says them right as Luke has told us that large crowds are following Jesus. It seems like the shepherd knows hot to thin the herd. But what do these sayings mean to us?

The Rev. Paul Allick has preached on this passage saying,
Anglo-Saxon painting of Jesus teachingIn our gospel teaching today, we hear that “large crowds were traveling with Jesus.” If Jesus were a good church pro-grammer, he would have dis- patched some of the apostles to get everyone’s name, phone number, and home address. He would have made sure everyone felt welcome. Perhaps he would have fretted over his sermons, making sure that each one was a practical, uplifting message that the crowd would come back for again and again. If they were singing psalms, he would have made sure the tunes were easy and appealing to the largest group possible.

Jesus wasn’t a good church programmer. This is because Jesus wasn’t calling crowds; he was calling disciples. Jesus wasn’t concerned with being popular; he was concerned with helping people transform their lives. Jesus knew that no matter the size of the crowd, it was all temporal anyway. It didn’t matter in the larger scheme. Jesus was leading people toward eternity, not temporal things like material success.

When Jesus sees the crowds, his instinct is not to wow them. His instinct is to make each person aware of the cost of being his disciple. It is this awareness of the journey that brings about transformation. He tells the crowd that unless they can detach completely from everything they are holding onto emotionally and physically, they can never really be his disciples. He tells them – and us – that we have to detach from our family systems, from our very lives as we know them. We have to be ready to take up a cross.
The full text of his sermon is here Sermons that Work.

Jesus wants those who will follow him to place their relationship with God in that most important spot in their lives, making all other relationships and commitments less important. I have preached on this as Redefining Commitments.

In what ways is your life different because you follow Jesus? Does God get the God-spot in your life as the most important thing? Or do other relationships, other things, take priority?

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

Between the 8:30 and 10 a.m. worship services tomorrow morning, we we hold a Ministries Fair with an opportunity for you to find ways to get connected to King of Peace through service with anything from the Floral Guild to the Boy Scouts. A covered dish lunch will follow the 10 a.m. worship service.



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