This gospel passage points out all the things that must be done to follow Christ completely. On the surface it is harsh, uninviting. —Lacks the warm fuzzy feeling we’d like to feel when we think about life in Christ.
Nope! No warm fuzzies here. Jesus is blunt, to the point. He explains that following Him will not be easy. He points out that it is so difficult that we must walk the walk alone. Alone. Without our parents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles, friends and coworkers. He points this out because He wants us to fully understand that even though discipleship is for the common good, it is an individual endeavor. Each of us must make the adjustments necessary that bring us closer to Christ. Each of us who confess Jesus Christ as our personal LORD and Savior must understand that the adjustment I make is not the same adjustment you must make. He is clarifying that these adjustments will involve people close to us. Listen to Luke 14:26-27.
Said a different way: My call to live in Christ is not my parent’s call, not my siblings’ call, not my friends’ call. It is MY call. And as such, I must move past what anyone else may think or say, hoist up my cross, and follow Christ. I have to constantly re-evaluate the things I hold dear and be willing to give them up. Now the difficulty in this is that we usually trust in the opinions of our family and friends. We want them to support what we’re setting off to do. We want them to understand and go with us. We don't often think that following Christ is the road to death. Yet here Jesus is stating that discipleship is sacrifice. It’s letting go, moving past human notions of success and excellence, into a realm that will not be easy.
Now I don’t want anyone leaving this sermon thinking that the way of discipleship is just too rough and forget about it. I want to offer a way of being, a way of living, that helps us through the rough patch of going it on our own;
the rough patch of making a change in our life;
the rough patch of seeming to be alone when in fact we’re not.
I’d like to suggest that we become like Bluetooth technology and become Bluetooth Christians.
So what do I mean by Bluetooth?
• No wires needed for one to get connected. Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluetooth).
• Nothing to get tangled in.
• Connection is easy
• Once the device is in “discover” mode the technology does the rest. Discover mode means that the device opens itself up to receive a signal from the source so that pairing can occur.
• Once connected it's hands-free
Most of us are familiar with Bluetooth earpiece wearers. We see people wearing them during meetings, shopping, during church service, driving, playing with their kids, coaching a sport, etc. you get the picture. Mainly the wearers appear like they will take a phone call at any moment. They need only tap the earpiece to talk and listen. When I see people wearing the devices at times when I think it’s inappropriate my comments are usually, “Are you really gonna take the call where you are? Is there no time where you’re not connected to your phone, ready to take a call?” Then I wonder, “What are you afraid of missing? and What happens if you miss it?”
Phones aren’t the only things that use Bluetooth Technology. TVs have it so you can hook up your sound system; PlayStation/Wii; or internet. Speakers have Bluetooth so you can share sound with others in a room. Cars have Bluetooth to help you remain handsfree when driving.
So now let’s talk about Becoming Bluetooth Christians —disciples —called to be ready to answer God's call.
• Is your Bluetooth on? Are you in discover mode?
• Have you opened your heart to the Source —the ways of Christ?
• Are you praying? Are you knowingly sitting in God’s presence? Are you becoming comfortable with the silence? —in the space that exists before the connection is complete?
• Have you said to Christ that you are ready and willing to be led by Him?
• This discover mode is what Jesus is referring to in this gospel passage. It is here that we will encounter static, interference because the connection goes through the air. Bluetooth is using short-wavelength radio transmissions(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluetooth). This connection cannot be touched. It isn’t seen. So to be in discover mode is to open yourself to the movement of the Holy Spirit. And if you know the Spirit like I do, …Hallelujah!!
• Now just because we’re in discover mode doesn’t mean that all is well. We gotta ensure that we maintain the connection. Remember I said that Bluetooth technology is for short distances.
• Even though connecting to Christ is easy. We have to move in such a way to maintain the connection. So how are you moving to ensure you maintain a connection? What are you doing to make sure you don’t get too far away?
• Are you close to the source?
• Does Jesus sit in your ear pulsing?
• Are you ready to answer at the touch of a button?
• What will you turn off to be heard or to hear?
Most Bluetooth pieces run on a battery. So when the battery runs low it gets plugged in. You’re not confused about how and where it should be plugged in. You’re clear about the source of your electricity, the kind of plug you need, and the socket to plug into.
Well the same holds true for us. In Becoming Bluetooth Christians, when our battery runs low, we must recharge. We must honor our
and plug into God. We cannot continue to plug into the wrong types of outlets that are drawing on the wrong sources. We can no longer forgo paying our bill hoping that some how we’re going to be recharged.
We must take the retreats. We must go on days of reflection. We have to be still. We must get comfortable with the silence. We must read Scripture.
Only then can we come to understand that giving up our possessions is not a hardship but a joy. A joy because we gain the possessions God wants to give. And if you know God like I do, God’s gifts are so much better than the ones I give myself.
So, are you ready to become a Bluetooth Christian?
timone davis is a cradle Catholic who was a “pewster” until she discovered that the uselessness of the Church was because she wasn’t giving anything of herself. After committing to do something, her life changed. Her first ministry was with the RCIA, where she not only welcomed others into the Church, but also revitalized her own spirituality.
After working for the Archdiocese of Chicago as the coordinator of ReCiL – Reclaiming Christ in Life Young Adult Ministry, timone launched PEACE centered WHOLENESS with her husband Orlando, where they are blending clinical counseling and spiritual companioning.
In addition to running a business, timone is an assistant professor in the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University Chicago. In her spare time, she serves as the treasurer of the National Institute for Ministry with Young Adults and Associate Convener of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium.
timone's dynamic energy and deep spirituality enhance her brand of teaching that engages one’s spirit through the use of storytelling. No matter the occasion, timone's mission is to help others open their hearts and minds to the soul-saving power of God's Grace, Love and Mercy.
*dr. timone davis uses lower case letters in the spelling of her name to indicate her willingness to embody the creedal assertion in John 3:30 in her everyday living.
Take an opportunity to read and reflect on the Sunday readings during the first five weeks of Lent. Participants are provided with links to reflections on the Lectionary readings (Cycle A) written by scholars -- including weekly preaching from Catholic Women Preach. Then, each week participants share their insights in an online community discussion, guided by a facilitator.MORE INFO/REGISTER
Advertise with Catholic Women Preach: email Russ at firstname.lastname@example.org