Sunday, June 23, 2013
Luke 9:18-24; Galatians 3:26-29; Ps 63 My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God; Zechariah 12:10-11;13:1
I recently read an article about Pope Francis. In the article the author mentioned that Pope Francis is becoming a the first tweetable Pope.
Pope Emeritus Benedict hit the big time with Facebook. But Pope Francis has raised the bar.
If you anything about Twitter, as it is called, you know that one who communicates via twitter is forced to be brief, succinct, to the point, unlike we preachers :)
Twitter allows only 140 characters to be used to get a message across. Which seems like a lot but in actuality is quite limited. There is no room for theological discourse but only room for simple thought and future rumination for followers.
Pope Francis has quite a few tweetable moments. I am going list just a few of my favorite 140 characters or less moments below:
"We are not part time Christians."
"Long faces cannot proclaim Jesus"
"Peacocks are beautiful from the front, but look from behind and you discover the truth" This was Pope Francis on Vanity
And last but not least.
"The church is not spa therapy."
These are definitely precise and to the point with little wiggle room but much room for thought.
In fact the author of the article when on to say that Pope Francis has become a defibrillator for the church.
Think about a defibrillator. It is used when someone is having severe heart malfunctions and the rhythm of the heart is out of whack or not present. It sends an electric shock to get the heart's rhythm back on line so that life can once again be.
Pope Francis the defibrillator. Sounds pretty catchy.
Poep Francis wasn't the only one to be such a shock to the system nor is he the first one to be tweetable.
Look at the gospel for today. We encounter some pretty tweetable moments as well as some quick shocking invitations.
Jesus' question to the disciples is definitely worthy tweeting, "Who do you say that I am?"
Here is the question for the ages.
There are many questions we ask in our life. There are many questions asked to us in our life. But none are as important as the one above. "Who do you say that I am?"
The answer to this one question can break or make our life.
Why does Jesus ask the question?
JEsus wants his disciples to become aware of what's hidden in their own minds and hearts and give voice to their own conviction or lack there of.
It is the conviction of our answer that determine our livelihood. The choices we make in our life proclaim the answer to the question Jesus ask.
Is he the son of the living God? Is He the anointed one of God? What in our life points to that answer? How often in our life do we make Jesus less than who he is so that we can remain comfortable where we are?
Secondly, we hear Jesus say, "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me."
Now, we have grown so accustomed to that phrase "take up your cross" that it no longer shocks us.
We must remember the cross was a terrible form of capitol punishment, of execution. It was considered so terrible that it could not be spoken of in front of Roman citizens. IT would be equivalent to the electric chair for us today.
What if JEsus said, "take up your electric chair daily and follow me" would we get it then.
Jesus invites us not only to a life of commitment and deep conviction but ultimately of martyrdom.
Are we ready to give our life away in living our faith?
Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me.
This is what it is all about: discipleship.
Denying ourselves is about realization that we are not the most important person in the room. There is always another person who should take center stage and that is Jesus. Denying ourselves is about creating space for him to be made known.
Taking up our cross is about the willingness and readiness to die.
Discipleship we often confuse with the struggle of getting our life together. How much energy is spent on ourselves and truth be told we will continually struggle with getting it together.
This is good. But primarily, discipleship is the struggle to give our life away. It is not so much about commitment or conviction as it is about martyrdom.
We are dead men walking.
The cross we carry is the road to life, to glory, to the kingdom.