Recently I’ve been joining with the disciples. I’ve spent more than my fair share of time complaining about the practical effects of Jesus’ teachings on my life. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I spend my time running through the streets, pillaging and murdering. However, I’m not convinced that I’ve been using my time in a way that reflects Christ to others around me. I spend time doing homework, taking care of my child, Enoch, walking the dog, cooking, cleaning, and running errands. I watch tv, read books for fun, occasionally indulge in a little Super Mario Brothers. I go to lunch with friends, try to make it to church on Sundays, and host dinner parties. It’s not like I’m using my time in horrible or offensive ways, but my time is largely spent focused on Kelly. Kelly’s family. Kelly’s jobs. Kelly’s desires.
As John and I have spent the past three months reflecting on the kind of home we hope to raise our son in, the areas of our life that need shoring up have become glaringly apparent. How do we serve the poor? We drop off food at church...occasionally. How do we care for the sick? Sometimes we drop a prayer request in the plate on Sunday morning. Do we visit those in prison? Of course not! Our lives aren’t awful or amoral, but they don't seem to reflect any higher calling, beyond ourselves. No one would ever think the teachings of Jesus are “difficult” by looking at our family. In fact, I’m not sure they’d see the teachings of Jesus at all.
Simon Peter’s response to Jesus, in this passage, should be a reminder to all of us. “Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.’” Why would I want to live a life in service to anyone or anything other than the One I have “come to believe and know” has the words of eternal life? I’ve grown into a life of ease, comfort, and complacency, but along the way I’ve sacrificed the centrality of the One who calls us into eternal life. I hope that my son will come to know and believe the One who offers us words of eternal life. Introducing Enoch to that God means I need to start taking Jesus’ teachings seriously, no matter how “difficult” or “offensive” they are.
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