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Friday, September 06, 2013

Next Day

This past week my granddaughter began her first job. She has done well in all of her summer jobs, but after three months she could always return to the familiar surroundings of her home and university. She is highly gifted and graduated with honors. She is an accomplished violinist but made the choice to major in business. She had several job possibilities but chose one that would challenge her abilities and demand her total allegiance.

She has now boarded the plane, so to speak, and the question may have passed through her mind, "Did I make the right choice? It is too late to ask the pilot to turn around and go to another destination." I am one of her cheerleaders and I believe in her, but few of us don't get butterflies when embarking on a new job.

Luke shares with us some of Jesus' conversations with those disciples who have made the choice to follow him to Jerusalem. All of the gospel writers have told us that every one of them had some serious misgivings about this new shift in destination. Jesus could have alleviated much of their anxiety with a few words, "Don't worry, men, everything will be okay. We will be staying at the Jerusalem Hilton and having lamb chops the first night."

But, Jesus didn't make their choice any easier. In fact, he made it worse. "You will be separated from your family. Your business back home will have to be liquidated. I will be demanding your complete loyalty. Count the cost before you go any further." Every choice has both promise and consequences.

Father, we have made the choice to follow Jesus. We want to be a part of the coming of your kingdom. But, we will never make it without your help. Amen!

Hubert Nelson
Eden Prairie, Minn.
Master of Divinity , 1962

Luke 14:25-33 (NRSV)

25 Now great multitudes accompanied him; and he turned and said to them,
26 "If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?
29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,
30 saying, 'This man began to build, and was not able to finish.'
31 Or what king, going to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?
32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an embassy and asks terms of peace.
33 So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.