Still another said, “I will follow you, my Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” Luke 9, 61 – 62
do you like the Internet in order to buy something? In Germany, stores have been in lockdown mode since many weeks now. I urgently needed replacement ink cartridges for my printer. So, I ordered them through the Internet. To save on postage, I doubled the volume with my order. The parcel arrived the very next day. And of course I knew what I had to expect inside. But I opened it immediately anyway. Between many air cushions I found my printer cartridges. I was satisfied.
The other day I had ordered a new sweater. I unpacked it immediately and put it on. Do you feel in the same way? When you get something new, you unpack it. A new piece of clothing must be tried on. It would be a little bit funny to buy a new sweater and instead continue to keep using the old one. And wouldn´t it be ridiculous to leave the empty cartridges in the printer? But the man who wants to live with Jesus behaves in a similar way. His problem: He does not want to part with his old life at once. First of all, he dreams of a big farewell party. And yes, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow he may be ready to share his life together with Jesus. But not today. Not yet.
However, Jesus clearly states: Today is the decisive day, the important day. Yesterday has led us to this day, has prepared us for today. Now the time has come. Yesterday may have been a similar day. Maybe it was easier or even harder. It may have been more beautiful or more difficult than today. But today Jesus invites us to be open for his word, for the encounter with him.
Many believe: There will be time tomorrow for what I plan to do. Tomorrow I could get excited about it. Tomorrow I would have more time to think about it. Tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. But maybe tomorrow the doors will be closed through which we could still enter today. Maybe tomorrow our hearts will be hardened with fear or worry. Maybe we want to remain in our old habits still and forget about our goal. And maybe tomorrow it could be too late after all.
Today is the decisive day, the day of open ears, the day of an open heart, for the word of all words, for the word we need from God today. Just in the same way as it occurred to Simon and Andrew back then:
As Jesus was walking along the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, which he later called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting their nets into the lake, for they were both fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” And they left their nets and followed him right away. (Mathew 4, 18 – 20)
The two did not want to celebrate a big farewell party with their families and friends. They were seizing the opportunity to live a new life with the Lord Jesus Christ. Now was the time. Right now. And they did unwrap the “package” Jesus provided for them. This package has no “air cushions”. It is packed with new life. With peace for the soul. With love and mercy. With comfort and hope. With readiness for forgiveness and reconciliation. With joy even in difficult times.
I wish you this "package" with new life. So that you can unpack the kind of life, which Jesus provides for you. And to be able to look forward with your heart filled with joy. Whoever goes through life with the Lord Jesus Christ has a future with God, the Father in heaven. He no longer looks back over his old life.
I do look forward to our next meeting on March 15. Then I will reflect on the Passion of Jesus. May our Lord bless you!
I invite my German-speaking readers to hear my sermons.
You can find the audio files at https://www.nord-ost-gemeinde.de/predigten
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version), edited by R. Jordan
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