Jesus disturbs us most by the sweep of his damands on those who would follow Him.
His insistence that sacrifice is the normal style for the Christian life disturbs us in the depths of our being.
How demanding is his statement:
"If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Matt. 16:24, RSV)
It is impossible to be a Christian and live undisturbed and undisturbingly.
Jesus was always speaking about the cost of discipleship.
- "Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" (Matt. 20:22, RSV)
"Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head" (Matt. 8:20. RSV)
"Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go..."(Luke 9:60, RSV)
"No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62, RSV)
These demands are so plain that they frighten us.
Jesus teaches us that the good life must be through
Christ in Gethsemane
and on to Golgotha.
There are no shortcuts.
The great life is the life of sacrificial service.
A very vivid memory of my childhood centers around attendance at a small church where we sang with great sincerity : "The way of the cross leads home."
Jesus says that the way to life is straight and narrow.
- This disturbs our generation because it has not yet ridded itself of the idea that the way to life is to do as we please.
- The spirit of our time says: "Express yourself!" but Jesus says, "Deny yourself!"
The spirit of our age says: "Let yourself go; be relaxed." But Jesus says: "Discipline yourself; take up your cross."
Our Lord is both Comforter and Disturber; he is both Helper and Judge.
- Sometimes, in our weaker moments, we wish we could be rid of the Christ who disturbs.
- And yet, in our better moments, we know that we dare not dismiss him for our own well being.
- Oh disturbed one, surrounded by a disturbed world, accept Christ, the Disturber, that you may find salvation and peace!
Word Made Flesh
pictures courtesy of all posters
Devotions for the home
J. Herbert Gilmore, Jr.