Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Courage to Follow

Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.
                                                                                   1 Corinthians 1:27

I cannot be a disciple of Jesus if I am ashamed of him. I must live in the joy and peace of Christ without hiding it under a basket. I must trust God with my life, even if it seems foolish to others.  It's not just those "in the world" who see Christ as foolishness. There is a strong pull among church folk toward worldly intellectualism that only accepts certain teachings of Jesus and writes the rest off as impractical. 

The United Methodist Church has a Lenten series called "Fearless: The Courage to Question." I don't think it's questioning that we fear. It seems to me that we are more afraid that Jesus might really mean what he says and that he expects us to live as he teaches, not choosing the parts we like, but all of it. That really is foolishness in the eyes of the world, and sadly, to many in the church.

Sacrificial living, nonretaliation, loving those who hurt us or who are merely different than us, not worrying about the future, giving to anyone who asks--all these and more are things that most of us aren't willing to do, so we write them off as foolish, which is writing Jesus off as foolish. We don't believe the powerless will shame the powerful or that the foolish will shame the wise because WE are the wise and the powerful.

Courage to question? That is not the issue. The real question is do I have the courage to abandon myself to Jesus' way of living, giving up the power and wisdom and status of the world for the weakness and foolishness and death of Christ. Now that does take courage--and trust in God.

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