Our Sister Phoebe, a Deacon

Theological musings inspired by the Spirit and totally Ellen…

>Familial Relations

>Yesterday’s gospel was tough, wasn’t it?

Jesus’ message from Luke 14:25-33 holds no punches. “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.”

Wait a minute . . . doesn’t that contradict the new commandment he gives at the last supper, that we love one another as Jesus loves us?

Jesus is talking about the cost of discipleship. Sometimes it can be very painful and moves us out of our comfortable, warm and snuggly spaces.

Think of being a disciple today.

How many people do you know that live out the Gospel, or at least give it the ‘college try’?

The framework for discipleship is to surrender oneself completely to God and to move out of the command post. We have this gift that’s call free will and we have to let it go in order to go where Christ calls us.

Remember the story of the wealthy young man who came to Jesus asked what he needed to do to inherit eternal life? Jesus told him to sell everything he had and then he could follow him. Jesus probably knew this was something near impossible to the young man; perhaps he wanted a reaction. The young man went away sorrowfully and Jesus then proclaimed that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man get into heaven.

Is Jesus asking the impossible of us?

Well, think about what he’s asking – read between the lines.

Put God first before your children, your spouse, your friends, your pets. Love God and the love you receive in turn radiates to all that you love and becomes strong, a life force. Love God and you have the capacity to love others.

Once you love God you have the will and power to follow Christ and undertake whatever ministry he offers.

I don’t think Christ truly wants us to hate our families and friends, but he does want us to stay focused. I really do think that I am capable of love and ministry because I love God and try my best every day to share it and return it.

Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord.

Ellen+

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