I know Jesus’ words last week were harsh and hard to hear or listen to, but I do need to do a short recap for the connection to our texts today. These scriptures demonstrate the difference between the intention of Christianity and what it has become.
Christianity is the only world religion where we can be identified as a ‘believer’ without necessarily being an ‘adherent’ or ‘practitioner’.
Christians are identified as such by our profession alone that Jesus is our Christ, Messiah, and Savior. Denominational Christians are identified by the additional teachings they profess. These do not require specific rituals, spiritual practices, or moral code by which a person lives their life as such with non-Christian adherents/practitioners.
But, this profession of Christian faith with or without denominational affiliation should not be enough. We are called deeper into discipleship and to be ‘practitioners’.
Our texts from these Sundays, teach us about discipleship, or walking in Jesus’ steps.
Last Sunday, we were reminded that God’s grace is a free gift we cannot earn or lose by our own efforts. Paul reminded us, however, to not become intoxicated on said grace and its freedom. Elijah and Jesus reminded us that the proper response to said grace is sacrificial and costly, calling us deeper into our baptismal agreement: Read the rest of this entry »