Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Leaving Home Behind

And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first. Matthew 19:23-30

When I was a child we often had missionaries in our home. We lived in close proximity to the church headquarters at the time, and our large home could accommodate guests. My parents loved having visitors and welcomed them with open arms. They were exotic creatures to me, characters to be watched. I was fascinated with these people who willingly left family and familiar behind to serve God half way across the world. I truly didn't understand why they would do such a thing. Now, all these years later, I know the impulse to serve God where called, and truly how hard it is to be so far from home.

The disciples are slow to understand what Jesus is saying. Our possessions and our baggage can keep us from receiving God's great blessings. With God, everything is possible. We are simply asked to let go of the things that keep us from opening our hearts to God's call. We are asked to let go of the circumstance that might keep us from doing impossible things in service of God's people. We, who are also slow to understand, are invited to look beyond the security we have, to the possibilities that God is offering us.

Today, I ask God to give me the courage to leave comforts behind. May nothing encumber our desire to serve God and may we joyfully stand ready, knowing that we will lack nothing as we go forth. May we see the impossible before us and know that is where God is working today.

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