God’s Love is for All
The same message is in Luke and Deuteronomy for this Sunday’s readings; we must look deeper into the meaning to know God’s love. Jesus admonishes us “. . . none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions. This is a stiff requirement to follow Jesus. Give up everything; Jesus mentions ties to family; wow! Most of us will not turn our backs on our families. Our Christian upbringing teaches us that love and care of family is paramount in our pleasing God.
It does seem possible to do both; we cannot ignore our upbringing in the church and follow Jesus. In Deuteronomy, Moses presents the Israelites with the Ten Commandments, which require us to honor our father and mother. The commandments come from God; yet God is telling us to give up all to follow Him. It is no wonder that there are so many people confused by what God wants us to do.
I want to look at this philosophically. When I married, I left my parents to follow a different path. Yet, I still honored them. If I had been so inclined to enter the ministry, would have left my parents to follow God. In both instances, I gave up my ties to my birth family. But, by raising my children in the church, I was following the path that God set out for me. If I look at it this way, I am faithful to both the Ten Commandments and the call of Jesus for me to follow Him, God.
I sometimes think that our religious communities place stumbling blocks to faith before us. I believe that Jesus’s message is to remove these stumbling blocks and accept all people of faith who respond to the extraordinary love of God. It is God’s gratitude that calls us to faith; God opens the door for us to travel His lighted path, accepting all His children, enabling us to deepen our relationship with this Loving God and our relationships with each other.
We are here because of His Love and Mercy; His grace allows us to experience the eternal life that only He can give. I pray that this higher mercy than we can ever truly know will open our hearts to the people that do not look or pray as we do. We need to reach for the higher good that God invites us to share. This world does not belong to us; it belongs to God. I pray we can leave this world to allow our children a better, safer future, basking in the light and love of God.