One day when large groups of people were walking along with him,
Jesus turned and told them, "Anyone who comes to me but
refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children, brothers,
sisters -- yes, even one's own self! -- can't be my disciple.
Anyone who won't shoulder his own cross and follow behind me
can't be my disciple.
"Is there anyone here who, planning to build a new house,
doesn't first sit down and figure the cost so you'll know if
you can complete it? If you only get the foundation laid and
then run out of money, you're going to look pretty foolish. Everyone
passing by will poke fun at you: 'He started something he couldn't
"Or can you imagine a king going into battle against another
king without first deciding whether it is possible with his ten
thousand troops to face the twenty thousand troops of the other?
And if he decides he can't, won't he send an emissary and work
out a truce?
"Simply put, if you're not willing to take what is dearest
to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it goodbye, you can't
by my disciple."
<The Message >
Sounds like a pretty daunting task. Anyone who thinks they are
up to this challenge is probably cruising for a fall. It would
be appropriate to pray for one's self. Here is a portion of a
Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition (United Methodist Hymnal,
I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low by thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me having nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things
to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am Thine. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.
Disciples know better than anyone else how frail they are. Disciples
need to be praying for one another. Here is a prayer of consecration
for Deaconesses from the 1956 Methodist Church. How can you transform
it to be in prayer for the specific other people in your life?
O eternal God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who didst
call Phoebe and Dorcas into the service of thy Church; look upon
these thy servants who are
to be set apart to the office of deaconess. Give to them,
we pray thee, such understanding of thy holy gospel, such firmness
of Christian purpose, such diligence in service, and such beauty
of life in Christ, that they may be to all whom
they teach or serve a worthy revelation
of the meaning and power of the Christian life. May they
so order their time and nourish their minds
and hearts that they may constantly
grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and may steadily increase in power to lead others unto him.
Grant that they may have strength of body, mind,
and soul for the fulfillment of thy will in the holy task to
which thou hast called them; and grant them
thy Holy Spirit, that they may worthily discharge
the work committed to them, to the blessing of mankind
and to the praise of Christ our Saviour. Amen.
How would you move these male-language models into today's language?
Is that they only thing which would have to change. We don't
do "obey" stuff the same way it was done two hundred
centuries ago, two centuries plus ago or even half a century
ago. How does this get translated for Gen-Xers and subsequent
generations? To work on this issue to to work on strengthening
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