Lenten Reflections

Go! for Lent: Luke 10:1-12

March 4, 2016
Robert Hartmans, Canon for Congregational Vitality in East Tennessee

In a sentence: Discipleship is more radical than we believe it is! 

In a couple of paragraphs: We have built a church institution that is more focused on staying than going.. We have an institution not focused on following Christ into our communities and into relationship with people who we are deeply connected to but who understand God differently than we do... Here's the kicker... Jesus calls us to accept the hospitality of strangers not the other way around (verses 4-9).

We have created a sort of Starbucks Christian institution, with our parish hall industrial complexes, fancy worship, well done music, sophisticated programs, and targeted outreach programs, we have become a church that packages the God experience and hopes against hope that people will flock to us.

What if we followed Jesus into our neighborhoods?  What would we have to give up?  What would it mean to shed some of our institutional stuff so that we could, as instructed in v4, leave behind our purses (read inflated budgets and parochial reports) or bags (read esoteric language, vestments, pew books) or sandals (read the comfort of a tame well-ordered liturgical experience.)

I grew up an Episcopalian, I love the Church and all of its stuff just as much as the next infant baptized.  If I take a hard look at Luke chapter 10:1-12 its appears that Jesus is on the move, and he is calling us onto that Jerusalem road.  I wonder what kind of death we will have to die, but what is more, I wonder about what wonderful resurrected life exists on the other side!

Tagged in: Lent