Saturday, September 07, 2013

Proper 18 - Year C
Pentecost 16
Luke 14:25-33

The word “decide”, coming to us from Old French and beyond that from Latin, means to cut something (caedare) off (de) - hence, decaedere. It means to fall on one side of an ambiguity by turning away from the other option. There’s that poem by Robert Frost you read in school about the diverging paths in a forest. If you are a truly decisive person, you will have any number of roads behind you which were not taken and travelled.

See original imageIt depends what you want. As a salesman, in this week’s reading from Luke’s Gospel, Jesus seems not to want to make a sale at all costs. He reminds us, his hearers, that we can have what we want. If we want him, however, and to be a member of the Kingdom which he is ushering in, there will be a cost to that decision. Jesus does not cajole them (or us) with false promises. He doesn’t anesthetize them (or us) with respect to the risks and the costs. He wants us to decide.

Some of us spend rather a long time in those woods looking at the two paths and even attempting to place a foot on each without doing ourselves an injury. We will need to say our “yes” and our “no” to something if we ever hope to get anywhere. We need to come to terms with the fact that decisions are costly.

Being husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, members of a local church and members of God’s Kingdom requires of you a positive affirmation of the life that goes along with that. You might have been surprised at what these roles required - but you suspected all along that there would be a cost.

All your pursuits - your jobs, your family roles, your engagement with the world and your fellowship in this parish church - require, as a first step, not an immediate application of work and energy but, rather, the answer to that nagging question about what you want. Disfunctions may stem less from our lack of native ability than they do from a lack of positive desire. Do you want any of these things enough to walk out of the woods and follow the path?

Jesus puts it plainly: It’s up to you. What do you want?

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