Summary: A sermon for the 14th Sunday afer Pentecost Proper 18 Discipleship
14th Sunday after Pentecost
"Look before You Leap!"
"Now great multitudes accompanied him; and he turned and said to them, "If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ’This man began to build, and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an embassy and asks terms of peace. So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:25-33, RSV.
Grace and Peace to you fro our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen
A very wealthy man lost his wife when their--only child was very young, so the man hired a housekeeper who would take care of the house and also, care for the young boy. The boy and the housekeeper became very close, as a matter of fact, the housekeeper looked upon this child as her very own, and the boy regarded the housekeeper as the mother he never had. But then, strangely, one day, the boy also died before be reached manhood. The housekeeper stayed on caring for the wealthy man who now was in such an emotional state having lost his wife and his son, that he soon died of a broken heart.
When the man died, his lawyer and his business partners began looking for the will which they were certain he had made out years before, but which no one had seen. They looked everywhere but they could find the will. The estate was eventually taken over by the state and an auction was held to dispose of the man’s personal property and his mansion.
The house keeper went to the sale, not because she had so much money to spent, but their was one item that she hoped she could get, there was a picture of the little boy that hung on the wall that she desperately wanted. She loved that boy and still carried fond memories of the times she had spent with, him. When the picture came to the auction block, nobody else wanted it so she bought it for a few pennies. She brought it home and since no one had cared for the house in many years, the picture had become very dirty, so she decided to take it apart, clean the frame and the glass, put in new backing and then find a place to hang it so that she might have the memories of those wonderful years. As she was taking the picture apart, some very important looking papers fell out of the back of the picture. At first she didn’t know what to make of them, so she brought them to the family lawyer of the rich man.
As the lawyer read the papers, he soon discover it was the long lost will which everyone had searched for, but could not find. There was a note with the will which said, "I leave all my wealth to the one who loved my son enough to buy that picture."
This lady had a love that carried her over the rough times, that carried her over the sad moments, a love ’for that boy that continued to after her life every moment she lived. It was a love that moved her to attend that auction, to give up some of her resources, her pennies, which meant more to her than the thousands others were willing to spent and because of her love, because her love was turned into action, she was rewarded beyond her wildest dreams.
This story tries to paint a picture of what Jesus was talking about in our gospel lesson. Jesus is talking about how we translate his love for us into our love for our neighbor. Jesus is talking about counting the cost to be his disciple.
The lady in our story counted the cost of her love for that son and was willing to spend some of her hard earned money to keep the memory of that son alive.
In our gospel lesson, Jesus is trying to tell us the price we must pay to be his disciple. He says, "If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple".