Sunday, June 30, 2013

Won’t you come home?

Won’t you come home?

Luke 9:51-62

 - Looking forward to adventure
 - Some things don’t make it in
   o  No TV
   o No Computers
   o No air conditioning
   o   No warm showers
   o   No comfortable & familiar beds
 - Turning for home
   o   Good to be home
In the gospel reading today, Jesus turns resolutely for home, For Jerusalem
 - Up to this point his journey has been rather exciting. He’s been baptised, he’s called his disciples, he’s healed the sick, cured the blind, had a mountain-top experience with his Father, Moses and Elijah, fed the 5000, told lots of parables, and, as we heard last week, driving out demons. But now it’s time to turn home.
 - This isn’t going to be an easy road home. Jesus knows what is to come and Jerusalem is going to be a different place. There won’t be comfortable sofa to flop into, but a hard wooden cross. There won’t be friends and family to welcome you back, but a crowd full of hate, wanting him dead. Still, Jesus turns resolutely and heads back.
When he started toward Jerusalem, people had mixed reactions to his journey. Some were eager to join in, others refusing to listen, others happy to tag along on their own terms.  Jesus has no time for any of them and cuts to the bone.

Some people were all too eager to follow him. There had been wild sensation about this new teacher who drew large crowds and performed miracles? Could he be the messiah? We hear of one man stating that he would follow Jesus wherever he went, but Jesus isn't interested in his promises because he knew his heart. Jesus responds with a somewhat puzzling
“Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head”
Herod, the regional leader at the time, was also known as the fox, and Rome’s insignia is the eagle. Foxes and eagles have a place here that they call their own, but not the Son of Man, not Jesus. The man thought that Jesus was coming to kick out the Romans and establish his own kingdom here, but Jesus’ journey was to the cross and victory over sin, death and the devil. 
Focus and listen, really listen.

We hear of 2 others that hear Jesus’ call to follow him, but ask for a little time first. One wants to bury his father. A reasonable request even in today’s society. Jesus replies
“let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the Kingdom of God”
The Kingdom Jesus is establishing is not of this world. You think you need to spend time doing earthly chores, when a far more important a long-reaching task is being asked of you.

Another wants to say goodbye to his family first. Jesus once again cuts to the core:
            “No-one puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for service in the Kingdom of God”
The call to follow is NOW, not sometime later. There is work to be done NOW, not sometime later. You might love your family, they might really love you, but they can’t save you. 
Jesus says “Focus and work. Really work”

Our journey through life is short and fleeting. We’re on a camping trip. Sure it’s exciting sometimes, but there comes a turning point where we need to head for home. Our real home. Jesus' journey didn't end in Jerusalem, his real journey conquered the grave. He went home to heaven and is preparing a place for us. He’s there calling us. You can be comfortable here. 
Focus and listen, the turning point is now. 
Won’t you come home?