Timing is everything. At least this is what the gospel seems to tell us today. The past weeks Jesus has been patient and understanding to everyone. Great faith has been explored. Last week the Gerasene demonic was healed and wanted to follow him, but he was told to go back home and tell of what God has done for him. How can it be today that people are being told it's now or never for joining this Jesus movement?
We have to look at how this chapter is set off. Jesus sets his face toward Jerusalem, we know this story. We know what is to come for Jesus. By the time Luke's gospel is written down, so does the audience know what is to come. Jesus will die and be raised again and not be with these disciples or this propel in the flesh. So the urgency is brought out in setting his face. Now is the time to be a disciple, now is the time to open your heart to God, now is the time to work for the good news.
I wonder if people going through rough spots in history have thought of it that way? Dietrich Bonnhoffer seems to have. The urgency in his writings, in condemning the church for selling a cheap grace and not understanding the full breadth of the cost of discipleship. I think he really believed other Christians had left them alone in their plight against Hitler and it cost him his very life. Today is the day for discipleship.
I've wondered this about Lui South Sudan and out companion relationship. When the going gets tough do we pull out and find somewhere else to be a companion or do we look at what we might be able to do for thee refugee camp. Soon this will mean collecting shoes and seeds to help support them with farming and an awful parasite called the sand flea or jiggers which cause awful foot problems. The time for discipleship is today.
Even here as the gap between rich and poor remains the biggest one in history. As people come to the food pantry more because benefits have been cut. As we see our own state of Missouri rank number two in food insecurity what questions of discipleship should this raise? We are invited by Jesus today to be disciples.
Discipleship is more than walking through the church doors. Discipleship costs a place to sleep or insecurity and having control or we can't take the time to bury our dead we have to come now or we can't say good bye to family we have to stand up and go now. Discipleship is today. This is what the gospel is telling us.
It is good news to those who have been waiting. Waiting to be healed, waiting to be fed, waiting for a job, waiting for a little help, waiting for a home all of these things. Will you join today to notice? Notice when someone needs good news. Notice when someone needs a hand to hold. Notice when someone needs a listening ear. Today is the day, will you come spread the good news?