Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Cost of Convenience

Something has been nagging at me for a while now. How has Christianity become a faith of convenience? Read the assigned Gospel reading from Luke 14 and then come back and I'll share a little more...

What did you read there? Did you see anything that would suggest follow Jesus would be easy? Give away everything... take up your cross... It's a call to discipleship that appears to call for sacrifice and probably comes with a side dish of passion (at least I would think to be able to show such compassion so as to sacrifice on that level).

Now take a look at your average mainline (i.e Lutheran, Methodist, etc.) congregation and what do you see? Take a look at your congregation and what do you see? Sacrifice? Passion? I see a lot of people showing up when it's convenient or what it serves their needs or desires. How did things get so turned around?

As followers of Christ we are asked to take up our cross. Yes, there is suffering in the world, but that isn't necessarily your cross. Recent floods have decimated portions of Southern Minnesota. The floods discriminated equally amongst Christians and non-Christians. The floods are not necessarily their cross, nor were they God's judgment (at least I can't imagine so). To take up your cross means sacrificing and entering into the suffering with someone or on behalf (for the sake of) someone else. That, if you ask me, is a HUGE cost.

To be propelled by faith to enter into such suffering is not, in my mind, convenient in any way whatsoever. How did things get so turned around? How do we turn the ship back around again? How do we recover that radical sense of mission to the world? How do we instill that kind of passion to bring the Good News of Jesus to all the world, no matter what the cost?

What is faith of convenience actually costing us? Is it our lives?

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