When the days drew near for him to be taken up, Jesus set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village.
As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:51-62
This Memorial Day, a day when we remember and give thanks for those who died for our freedom, those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. My uncle, Sy WalkingStick was killed at the end of the World War II in the Philippines. My mother said he was a brave and faithful man, a person beloved by so many and a true hero. I never got the chance to meet him, although I have visited his grave at Arlington several times. He offered his life for others and saved many of his platoon in the process, the ultimate offering of love.
Jesus has set his face towards Jerusalem, knowing it mean the ultimate offering of love, his life. His life was offered for the whole world and he invited his disciples to follow him. Some wanted to be about punishing the unkind and others wanted to take care of business as usual. But when love comes to town, in the form of the living God, there is no business as usual. We are invited today to follow the one who was willing to offer his life for the life of the world and all of us in it.
Today, as this overcast and cold day comes to an end, I ask God to help me rededicate my life to being a true follower. May we not spent our time worrying about punishing others or business as usual. May we be bearers of love and make a place for love to thrive as we go.