Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? – Lk 14: 27-8
Luke 14: 25-33 has the reader reflect on the cost of discipleship and the cost of living through times of transition. One is asked to consider the devotion one has to Jesus’ mission and to what lengths one will go to build and share the kindom of God. The passage is big picture!
One reflection of the passage sent to me reads:
This scripture is hard to hear when we are told to love our neighbour and now, we are to hate our family and our own life, to be Jesus' disciple. Very strong language is used to let us know we are to give up everything to be Jesus' disciple. We can see examples in the bible of people who were able to give up everything for God. Can you imagine the ridicule Noah must have suffered building an ark in the desert? Look at Abraham who had to leave everything and everybody he knew to be shown a strange land. He was even asked to be willing to give up his son. Joseph, remained faithful, even when sold into slavery and put into prison. The apostles carried the gospel even when it meant prison and loss of life. Are we willing to give up everything for Jesus including ourselves? --- Mary
The big picture can be translated to Resurrection’s present time of transition. For Resurrection, we are in a period of estimating the cost. The community is discerning what could be and what our contributions will be. Part of the process is to consider Jesus’ mission, God’s kindom, and the community’s part in this. What does it mean for the congregation to follow Jesus? Is it addressing housing needs, partnering and sharing space, increasing interaction in the neighbourhood, increasing what we each give (time, talent, treasures)? We have started by envisioning possible options. All options mean change.
This week you are invited to consider ‘the cost’ of being church and community. Action and transition are ripe with consequences and a variety of emotions. You are invited to create a list(s) that reflects where you, your spirit, and your heart is when considering the future of the church, church community, and possible options. Be creative in your list making!
You might make a list of options with how you feel about each. You could make a list of what losses or griefs you expect through this transition. A list could be made of the legacy you wish the church community to continue when you are gone. Perhaps you create a list of your contributions (time, talent, possessions). What do you give to the community and what do you receive from the community?
Another form of list making is to do a cost-benefit analysis or a pro/con list; one could do this for each possible option (property development, joining another congregation, partnership in current space, sharing pastor…), or a big picture cost-benefit analysis on
The cost of not acting and the benefits of embracing transition.
Add your thoughts and lists in the comments or send them to email@example.com
Our thoughts, words, and deeds; our actions and inactions are costly. Our choices impact ourselves, our neighbours, our relationships, the church community, and our walk with you. Open our eyes to your presence and your guiding. It is costly to open our hearts to give and receive grace and love. It is costly to follow Jesus and to participate in the building of God’s kindom. It is costly to give ourselves (our resources) to be bread for the hungry, community for the lonely, and God’s presence in a weary world. Fill us with courage, perseverance, and agency. Amen.