Proper 8 – Year C

2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14; Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20; (or 1 Kings 19:15-16, 19-21; Psalm 16); Galatians 5:1, 13-25; Luke 9:51-62

“Throw your heart over the fence and the rest will follow.” – Norman Vincent Peale

                Jesus never asked us to worship him.  He persistently asked us to follow him, today’s Gospel an example.  The trap we Christians need to watch out for is that we don’t replace following Jesus for worshipping and bigheaded arguments about the right way to do it.  Our worship and creedal quarrels have resulted in divisions.  Following Jesus would result in unity with diversity.  More and more people would belong to the one Kingdom of God, not the one institutional church.  The institutional Church is good, and good for people, but it is not the Kingdom of God.  When it becomes petty it is working against Jesus’ agenda.  Following Jesus is not about head thoughts.  It is about heart fence jumping.  Because our heart is going where Jesus leads, we jump over all barriers.  And where does Jesus lead?  Just listen to his advice on how to live.  If Jesus says love our enemies, we follow and our creedal statement is in actions not words.  If Jesus says visit the sick, we follow and our creedal statement is in actions not words.  The list is endless.  There is hardly a page in the Gospels that does not point the way for us to go where we have never gone before, where Jesus has gone before us.  There is not just one way.  We don’t need to argue about the right way.  We may want to take easy corridors through life, someone else’s way.  But that may not be the special unique path Jesus wants us to follow on down, or on up.  Our particular trail might be difficult.  Is that why the individuals in this Gospel story have excuses and delays (Luke 9:59-61)?  No excuses and holdups for us.  Let’s go.

Greek

                Luke 9:52 says that Jesus sent “messengers” ahead of him.  The Greek word (angelos) is the same word used for angels.  This does not mean that messengers are angels.  It means that angels are messengers, which is the basic meaning of the word.

                In Luke 9:54, 59 and 61 Jesus is called “lord.”  This does not necessarily have any religious connotation.  The Greek word simply means “sir.”  However, “the Lord” does take on religious meaning.

Haiku

Obstacles leaped by. 

Our heart knows no obstruction.

Follow, not later.

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