Dying into a way of thinking and being

I am sharing the Daily Devotion from the Living Church for today which was written by Lucas Crossland.  Mr. Crossland touches on something I have felt many times before and about which  I have gained a new perspective due to his devotion.  So often have I experienced a “conflict” of priorities within my own and extended family that I often wondered if this is what was meant in the passage from Saint Luke.  Seeing the “hating” of one’s own family as metaphorical  speaks to me. We are not called to really hate our families but rather to love them through Christ as we make living through Christ as our true priority.

 

Daily Devotional is a ministry of the Living Church Foundation.
Image licensed via Creative Commons.
Oliver Quinlan/Flickr
Come and Die
Daily Devotional • November 8
By Lucas Crossland
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” Indeed, through our baptism we are baptized into Christ’s death. While some find this passage challenging, it makes sense.

In order to follow Jesus, we must leave behind our old ways. Just as Jesus will flip things on their heads at the eschaton, so too does he flip our lives upside-down now. To follow Jesus, we must say goodbye to life as we know it to be — we must die to that life — and then we are free to become a new creation, as St. Paul says.

I don’t think Jesus is actually telling us to hate our family, but to reorient our lives so that Jesus is at the center, Jesus is our priority. Sometimes putting Jesus at the center of our lives can have a cost, which is the main focus of the reading today. Will we hear the call? And most important, will we respond?

Luke 14:25-35Now large crowds were traveling with him; and he turned and said to them, 26“Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. 27Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28For 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? 29Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, 30saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace.33So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions. 34“Salt is good; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? 35It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; they throw it away. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”
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