The reading for today is Judges 9-10 and Luke 14:1-24.
All of my four children were adopted as of February and we intend to celebrate this monumental occasion later in September. Why are we waiting that long? Well, there are many reasons. The end of September the birthday month for two of my children. My mother is retiring at the end of September (giving her and dad a good excuse to join in the festivities) and September is an off season for many tourist traps.
Now the ideal celebration for our family would have been to vacation in Europe. My wife and I think it is important for a person to be oversees at least once in their life to get exposed to a different culture. Also, I still have family that lives in Germany and it would be neat for my kids to see where my ancestors came from. However, the idea of this sort of trip, while exciting, would land us declaring bankruptcy. The plane tickets alone for six people would be outrageous. Therefore, we have decided to take the kids on a trip to Orlando, Florida. We figure that it will be exciting to see their faces when they see the ocean for the first time. My super intelligent wife has figured out how we could budget for this trip starting a year ago. It will more than likely be the largest vacation we will ever take with our kids but it’s celebrating a huge landmark. Thus you can see that there were many options to weigh and many nickels and pennies to consider.
Can you imagine how horrible it would be attempt this sort of celebration without planning out the cost of the trip? Imagine driving all the way to the destination only to discover that the price of gas had eaten up all you cash. Think about seeing your kids’ delighted faces as they see all the sights right in front of them only to have to tell them that you were turning right around and going home. There would be a lot of tears and a few tempers.
In Luke 14 Jesus asks His followers to think about how much it was going to cost to follow Him. I believe this is a unique thought to our culture from the get go. We are so used to doing what will make us feel good or simply what we want to. Our culture doesn’t ask us to consider the negative but only think about happiness. However from what I’m understanding of this reading is that Christ is telling us that we are going to have to give up everything including our own lives to follow Him. That means that there will be pain. I remember a gal that attended church in South Korea with my wife and I. Her whole family refused to accept her any longer because of her confession of faith. She wasn’t welcome at the family gatherings or even spoken to. Wow. That’s painful and at the samet time that is powerful faith in Christ.
I think for those of us that are Christians we need to pause and wonder how serious our faith in Christ is. Do we merely hold onto our faith to ward off anything sad or unhappy? For those that are not of the Christian faith I believe you must wonder why someone would be so dedicated to such a faith.