Christ says, if you want to follow me, deny yourself and take up your cross. This is not a simple invitation. It is, as Peter found, a radical deviation from the powers and desires of empires. It invites a humility and willing vulnerability for the sake of the gospel.
The celebration of Christmas is not just about the hope and promise that the world will be made whole. It’s not just about God coming so “everyone else” can receive new life. Christmas is about acknowledging the brokenness in your own life, and the promise of God in Christ to make you whole, to give you hope, to give you new life.
The parables weren’t offered to make us feel good about our discipleship. They are intentionally provoking, and challenge us to a greater faithfulness. The Pearl of Great Price should not be understood as a self-centered congratulatory allegory, but a hard challenge to deeper discipleship.
Jesus doesn’t sugar coat the call to faithfulness. He really expects us to sell our possessions and give the money to the poor. What does this mean for faithful disciples today?
To be faithful to our call as a church community, it takes being engaged disciples. You don’t have to be perfect, highly educated, wealthy, or beautiful – you just have to be willing to respond, knowing Christ goes with you.
Paul makes a compelling argument that if you’re going to live by the law, you will be held accountable to all the laws. Or, you can live by Christ. Is it really that simple?
Financial giving isn’t something we like to talk about – it ranks with religion and politics around the dinner table. Our hesitancy to talk about giving is a byproduct of our misunderstanding why we give. So let’s talk about it – why do you give?
There is a Savior, and we are not him, so how do we live into the call to follow in the footsteps of Christ, in his role as Savior?
At the call of the prophet in Isaiah 51, today we receive a State of the Church report, where we look back to see from where we have come, to look around and acknowledge where we are today, and to hear the vision of what God may have in store for us in the future.