Saturday, November 21, 2009

into abandon...

It's one of those verses that if you're reading online through some sort of "internet bible", you desperately want to click the "read in context" link above it. Luke 14:33, "So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions. "

So there you have it. The word for "give" here doesn't emphasize so much the action of giving, as it does the letting go of. The "renounce, or bid farewell to".

What is it that you have a hard time "bidding farewell to"? The word for "possessions" here can also be translated as "substance". What part of our identities would be the hardest for us to hold before God, palms up? What desires/motivations are we moved by in our daily lives that we would have a tough time letting go of?

I think marriage and family are great practices in this area, but also complicate the whole thing. In a marriage relationship, we (in theory, not always in practice) are giving up ourselves for the other. We desire to put the other before ourselves, and love them as Christ loved the Church. Each day offers new opportunities (whether we take them or not....I should more often I know) for us to let go of ourselves, for the sake of the other. Then come children. We parents would sacrifice anything for our children. To provide for them. To protect them as we see fit. Even as they are newborn, we begin the practice of letting go of ourselves (and our sleep) in order to give ourselves to them.

But this also complicates things. Our spouses, and our children....in Luke 14:26 Jesus speaks about these challenges to being a disciple. To make decisions towards Christ that may offend my family...my wife...my children...would be a bit harder to do than just anyone. To hold these relationships, palms up, before God on a daily basis....trusting His love for them is beyond anything I can bring to the table. Difficult...but at the same time, freeing.

I can see why monks vow to a life of celibacy. Any new familial relationship is another relationship to offer God on a daily basis...and can be very tempting to hold onto tightly as a possession.

May we practice Holy abandon of our possessions, relationships, and even our own "substance"...even as we move towards a week of Thanking God for these things...

1 comment:

Mark said...

1Sa 2:29 Why do you scorn my sacrifice and offering that I prescribed for my dwelling? Why do you honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?'
Wick,
I think with family relations it is hard to do the right thing sometimes and easy to do nothing. Eli would have ruined his relations with his sons if he had them thrown out of the priesthood (I don't even know if he could have) but he would have giving that relationship to God, tough thing to do, but giving it to God would have been better for Eli. Mark