Which do I choose?

Thoughts on Luke 9:22-25

I’m disappointed that the lectionary veers off of Mark, but I guess it veers toward readings that ground me in the season of Lent. This passage certainly does: the Son of man must suffer, be rejected, killed, oh yeah, and then raised. As a listener it would be hard to listen to the end of the sentence, the part about being raised, because of the shock of even the first word. I live in the epilogue, I know the resurrection, but those disciples must have been shocked to realize you were serious about the suffering that was to come. How bold they were to hang with you.

Then you describe what it means for them to hang with you: forget about what you want, be willing to die and go with Jesus wherever he goes.

What does this mean for me? Because I do want to come after you, and experience the saving of my life. Keep my eyes fixed on you. I will not be above my master. You suffered, I will suffer.  During Lent, I have commended my eating habits to you, I have vowed to avoid sugar and snacks, which I turn to as a way of controlling my emotions and as entertainment. Coming after you means suffering the boredom, blessing those who eat cookies, seeking you in the still afternoons.

The second reading Deut. 30:15-20 makes the Lenten message even clearer: You set before your people life and good or death and evil. You say, make your choice, blessing or curse. And then you plead for them to choose life.

Lord Jesus, you show me the way to freedom, it leads through suffering. Loving God, the way to life is found by obeying your words. Holy Spirit, you pray constantly for me to choose life. Have your way in me today. Grant me a vision of freedom and life, make it so vividly clear that I will suffer any loss to make it mine. Lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil. Thank you and amen.

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