Tuesday, November 17, 2015

What is the cost of following Christ?

Gospel Reading: Luke 14:25-35 - At that time, great multitudes accompanied Jesus; and he turned and said to them, "If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build, and was not able to finish.' Or what king, going to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an embassy and asks terms of peace. So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is fit neither for the land nor for the dunghill; men throw it away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
As we continue on our “Advent” journey to Christmas to welcome the King of Kings into our hearts, we can’t forget to calculate the cost first. Are we willing to leave everything behind to follow Him in to Heaven? In the coming weeks the Church will ask us to spend more time in prayer, reading the scriptures, fasting, going for Holy Confession, serving the poor, and learning to place Him first in our lives. Being and Orthodox Christian in today’s America, especially during the so-called Holiday Season, offers an excellent opportunity to place God first.

Our society celebrates the “Holiday Season” for many weeks of shopping, parties, parades, banquets, and more shopping for gift exchanges. HOWEVER.....the Church asks us to spend the same weeks preparing for Christmas. We will celebrate AFTER Divine Liturgy on Christmas. It won’t be easy politely rejecting invitations to Christmas parties so we can attend Great Vespers on Saturday evenings. It won’t be easy fasting in an office filled with holiday desserts. It won’t be easy, but it will be worthwhile. It is the cost of being Orthodox Christian in America. Now you know the cost....are you willing to join the journey?

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