Morning Prayer           

Luke 14: 25 – 35

Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, even their own life – such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.

“Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”



“…those of you who do not give up everything cannot be my disciples.” If that is not hard enough for us members of a consumerist society, how about “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”


Do you have something you own that you are unwilling to give up in order to follow Jesus? Are you open to being led to quit your job, to sell your house or other possessions, giving your money to the poor and then following Jesus? Probably not. I wonder what Jesus would say to us today? Let me turn to the culture and understanding of following your teacher as practiced in India today and for millennia. It may shed some light.

In India they believe that every soul has a teacher and that when the time is right, you will find your teacher, or as Jesus said your teacher will choose you. Additionally, they believe that the first phase of adult life, the householder phase, is when you normally have a career and raise children. When that phase is over many leave everything behind as they set out on their own spiritual path, dressing in orange and becoming wandering beggars. Some of these Sanyasis become enlightened, become teachers and wear white instead of orange, as they then support others in their quest to become free of all that binds them.

There are also followers of Jesus today in our culture who have left everything behind to follow him but they are solitary souls here and there who may as well be wearing orange. Outside of our religious orders, which themselves have become quite worldly, we do not truly have models of how to be disciples of Jesus today. But we do have the Holy Spirit, we are immersed in the One and if we would be led, we will be! So perhaps you can ask your Abba again what it means for you to be a follower of Jesus today. Does it include choosing Jesus’ path over being part of your family? Does it mean being willing to sacrifice anything and everything?


Noon Day Prayers Question

 “All for Jesus” as the old hymn goes “All for Jesus.” What does this mean for you?


Evening Prayer            

Luke 15: 1 – 10

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”



This is not simply a story about good Jesus versus bad Pharisees, it is instead a story about religious men, pillars of their community, whose preoccupation with ritual observance has blinded them to their own sin. It is a story about men whose concern for God’s law has caused them to forget God’s love for sinners. Jesus was a shining white light, a spiritual superstar and yet he was offering table fellowship to those whose life style was outside the pale for the religious pillars of their community. Parents do not want their children associating with the wrong people but he sure was. Jesus calls them (and us) to love sinners while hating sin. He challenges them (and us) to hope for repentance. He calls them (and us) to celebrate the redemption of even one sinner.

But there is something that gives even more pause to good church people today. “Putting the lost sheep on his shoulders” is not the kind of treatment that we would want, lost or not, for the shepherd broke the legs of the lost sheep and then carried it around on his shoulders until its legs healed. In this way the sheep was trained to follow the shepherd wherever it went. But we know that people who go through a dramatic conversion often are quite broken. It is only when their own legs are not carrying them anymore that they allow Christ to carry them, so-to-speak.

If self-reliance, calling your own shots, even being a somebody are components of your identity, then are you actually a follower of Jesus? Are you a follower of Jesus or perhaps simply part of the Jesus club that worships God but lives like most other people?

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