fresh bread: really?

Now when Jesus saw the crowd, he ordered his disciples to go over to the other side of the lake. A legal expert came and said to him, “Teacher, I’ll follow you wherever you go.”

Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens, and the birds in the sky have nests, but the Human One has no place to lay his head.”

Another man, one of his disciples, said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”

But Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” (Matthew 8:18-22, CEB)

It’s the expression these days. When you encounter something that seems to defy the obvious, perhaps bordering on madness, you say (with the proper inflection), “Really?”

That’s how I hear Jesus responding to these men. One of them, an apparently would-be follower, says, “I’ll go wherever for you, just give me some time!” And Jesus looks him in the eyes and says, “Really?”

Then another man, already a disciple of Jesus, says to our Lord, “I’ll do whatever it takes for you!”  To which Jesus replies, “Really?”

Are we truly prepared to go wherever, and do whatever, Jesus calls us to be about? Would I continue to follow Christ if Christ called me away from all of my earthly securities? Is my relationship to Jesus actually stronger than my strongest family ties?

Really?

It all depends on the way you say it, doesn’t it? The way you say it with your life.

Really!

Heavenly Father, my lips are quick to claim great lengths to which I am willing to go for your Son. They are equally quick to ask that you be “reasonable” in your requests of me. Father, forgive me. In the name of your Son, my Savior, may my lips move no faster than my life, but may my life run for you. Amen.

ct: the theology of the cross & the crisis of Christianity

… however good and desirable Christendom at its best may have been as civilization, it was not, in my view, an appropriate expression of the Christian faith. There was something incongruous about it from the outset and always. If one reads the newer Testament and most of the literature of the pre-Constantinian church without the dubious benefit of establishment hindsight, one cannot but conclude that between that early vision and what came to be after the fourth century of the common era there is an abiding hiatus, if not an irrconcilable conflict. Surely Jesus as he is presented in the Synoptics and John never dreamt of anything remotely resembling the Holy Roman Empire or the United States of America as a Christian nation. …

…one may ask whether the Christian faith as we have it in the New Testament and the pre-establishment writings of the church was in any way designed for such as role as, under and beyond Constantine, it was required to play. …

… at the juncture in history the Christian movement is being offered by Divine Providence an opportunity that is unique in the church’s experience. The Christian is being made free from the Babylonian captivity to political, cultural, racial, and (yes) religious structures to the end that it may be and become what in essence it is: salt, yeast, light … (Douglas John Hall, The Cross in Our Context, pp.166,168-169)