March 8, 2021
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:25-27
Great motivation speech, eh? Sign me up to hate my family, my life, and bear persecution and suffering for the rest of my days. Yet, through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ disciples would take his Gospel with its cautionary clause to the far reaches of our world—and two millennia later it is still being proclaimed to all nations amidst persecution and suffering. Why? Because those who are desperate for a new start in life, for those who are hungry for more than what our world has to offer, they will find a new way of life that brings wholeness and shalom peace, a new kingdom family that will sacrificially love them, and a new sense of hope that will bring purpose to their suffering. It’s not perfect, yet, but it’s worth the cost.
Father God, help us to cooperate with our Holy Spirit in dying to our selfish ways and rising to a new life in the fellowship of suffering and the resurrection power of your risen Son. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling