Today’s Bible reading

Read Luke 9:57-62

Then He said to another, “Follow Me.”

But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”

Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”

And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”

But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” — Luke 9:59-62

More thoughts for meditation

Jesus is not messing around! He is offering us a singularity of purpose that is rarely experienced by humanity. Our purposes are almost always various. Sometimes it’s hard to tell why we do anything that we do, right? That scattered, mysterious, at times confused sense of purpose is part of the human experience. What shall we do? Bury our parents, be hospitable or preach the kingdom of God? There is an incredible urgency to Jesus’ teaching here. His disciples MUST get down to the master’s business. “you go and preach the kingdom of God” … NOW!

Years and years of intervening familiarity might have worn down the sharp blade on Jesus’ words. How does something that happened so long ago have any urgency now? And yet this call is for you, “Follow me.”

He’s calling us to complete reorientation. Your parents, your customs, your patterns of relating, your obligations — they all need reevaluation in the light of this invitation, “Follow me.” You might still be able to walk in his way and preach his kingdom while still meeting the ordinary expectations of your life, but not all of them, and none of them are worth doing if you haven’t decided again how they fit into your new way of living which began with His, “Follow me.”   

Suggestions for action

What do you think you have to do that you might not have to do? Where are you obliged where you ought to be free? Where are your energies divided where you wish they were concentrated? Where in your life are you looking back? What’s distracting you from a singularity of purpose?

Let’s get practical about it. Write down 1-24 on a piece of paper and see if you can reconstruct how you spent each hour in the past day. Make decisions about your time. Bless it if it is blessed. Change it if it is in need of change. There’s always room for fine tuning even if you’re an old hand at this sort of thing. It might be too hard to reconstruct, so you could start right now with “Daily Prayer” in the first hour of the next 24 hours.