As the Israelites knew about following God, and we know, that traveling with Jesus isn't all just loaves and fishes. It IS a hard road but who of us are able to imagine the cost of giving up our families and all of our possessions? We aren't told that we MUST do that, only that we must IF they or that stand in the way of our faith and our work as disciples; in other words, the taking up of the Cross. Last week Paul told us to be content with what we have and in Luke, Jesus was telling us how not to exalt ourselves. I think there is much the same in this week. A recurring theme of Scripture is not getting caught up in earthly delights or gathering wealth or possessions but rather to focus on the goal of everlasting life in Christ. Missteps, loving community, disagreements, estrangements, reconciliations are all along the way and we can use them wisely as tools for climbing out or digging deeper. This isn't just a hobby for groupies to follow when convenient, although sometimes looking deeper and curiously is the start of something much bigger. This is a life-calling and there is a price. Some days we'll feel blessings and other days will seem like curses. We'll have many wrong turns and unholy moments but if our intent is true, and we keep turning back to Christ, we will be made whole and sanctified when we arrive at our ultimate destination. We are called to a life that continues to build on Christ as our One Foundation, not merely constructing a tower to enjoy the view. There are no discount tickets for this ride, the cost is the full price of admission to Forever.
Leader: ~ O God, Almighty and Boundless, grant us the grace, the peace, and the courage, to accept discipleship of the cross of Christ throughout our length of days, however steep the price or the path.
~ O God, Almighty and Boundless, guide the hearts of all who build the towers of governments to step away from the costs of wicked counsel and choose the life-prospering benefits of justice, mercy, and peace. We pray especially for: add your own petitions
~ O God, Almighty and Boundless, send comfort and healing to all who are ill, feel hopeless, or are addicted, and replenish the energy of those who give support. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions
Refresh our hearts in Christ
~ O God, Almighty and Boundless, let grieving hearts be lifted, for those from whom we are now separated will be back with us forever, in Your glorious and eternal Land. We pray especially for… add your own petitions
~ O God, Almighty and Boundless, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt thanksgivings, intercessions, petitions, and memorials, aloud or silently… add your own petitions
~ O God, Almighty and Boundless, we give You thanks for all who have dedicated their lives as true disciples of Jesus, who teach us to count the blessings more than the cost, to grow and live in faith. We pray especially for: add your own petitions