Peace in Following Jesus

Continuing with the theme of following Jesus, based on Luke 9:57-62, I wrote this communion liturgy for the Great Thanksgiving. One of the things that hit me as I wrote this is the reason that many hesitate in answering the call to follow Jesus: Peace. We try to create, secure and maintain our peace when all the while, Jesus himself is our peace. How quickly we forget.

It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to You, oh God, Creator and Father. Through Jesus Christ You call us to follow, but yet we often find ourselves timid or skeptical or too careful or worrisome about the path You have called us to walk. We often find ourselves over-analyzing in order to secure a sense of peace about making our decision. But how foolish we are for doing such a thing, for through Jesus Christ You have cleared the path and secured our future through his death and resurrection. You have defeated Your foes and have surrounded us with Your holy angels. You have redeemed our lives and thus You and You alone are our peace. May we leap when You call us to follow for through Jesus we have much about which to be excited and thankful. And so with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven we join in singing Your unending praise…

A Walk in a Park

The sermon for this morning is from Luke 9:57-62. This is about the call to follow Jesus. It is a very timely message for the congregation I am serving. The following is the opening paragraph to the sermon that God has placed on my heart. The video of the whole sermon will be posted on the church website this week. To God be the glory!

I saw an internet meme recently that said, “Raising kids is like a walk in the park – Jurassic Park.” We chuckle, but there’s a lot of truth to that. One could also substitute “Following Jesus” for “Raising kids”, and still chuckle; understanding that the meaning is still the same. You see, following Jesus is not easy. Following Jesus is not simply a peaceful walk in a beautiful park. Following Jesus has twists and turns; hills and valleys; roadblocks and straightaways. Following Jesus requires the faith of the father in Mark’s Gospel who says to Jesus, “I believe, help my unbelief.” Jesus calls you to follow – now – and not to look back. But as you follow him, he also walks along side to encourage you along the way. You must never follow Jesus with rose colored glasses but understand what a life is discipleship requires: Faith. For if following Jesus were really that easy, don’t you think more people would be doing it?