I will be preaching this Sunday at our 9:30 and 11:07 worship gatherings. Since it’s the season of Lent, I often follow the lectionary for the scripture. This Sunday, the selected reading is John 12:20-33. It is a passage where Jesus begins to point to his coming death on the cross. In the midst of the passage, Jesus tells a brief parable.
“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground
and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many
[fruit]. Those who love their life will lose it, while those who hate their
life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves
me must follow me; and where I am, my servant will also be.
My Father will honor the one who serves me.”
What strikes me the most is the implied cost of discipleship. Following Christ requires that we give up our lives. It requires sacrifice. It requires thinking of others ahead of our own agendas and desires. Discipleship is not something that we attend a small group for…it must become a lifestyle that is lived out.
I wonder what our Sunday morning worship gatherings would be like if we really preached (and lived) the cost of following Jesus. First, I think we’d have less people because they would be turned off by the discussion of giving up our lives. But on the other hand, if people caught a vision for what discipleship looked like (true discipleship, not a course or a small group), then our churches and communities might be turned upside down.
As we journey closer to Good Friday and the Cross of Christ, may we consider the cost of folllowing Jesus. May we live each day, offering our lives over to the only One who can save it. In losing our lives, may we find eternal life in God through Jesus Christ.
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