Today my first grandchild is six months old. He is, as they say, “Just the cutest thing!” His smile always makes me smile. His baby blue eyes are constantly taking it all in. His first attempts at verbal communication are humorous…but wonder filled. Let’s just say I’m a proud grandpa!
Not long ago, as I watched my grandson from across the room, I was struck by how much I’ve fallen in love with this little bundle of life. A few moments later I remembered Jesus’ words read earlier in the day: “Whoever loves father or mother more than me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me…” (Matthew 10:37, NRSV). So according to Jesus, to be a worthy follower of Jesus, I need to love Jesus more than anyone that I am closest to…now including my grandson. In that moment I thought, “That’s harsh!”
So I pulled my Bible out to re-read the passage, including the two verses that followed. “…And whoever does not take up my cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:38-39, NRSV).
It occurred to me that I don’t have to love those closest to me less…I just have to love Jesus more. And loving Jesus more allows me to take up my cross and follow his radical call to discipleship. And when I can do that, I don’t lose my life, but I find it…including the ability to love those closest to me to the fullest!
Hope you’ll join me on this challenging journey to understand and live into all Jesus calls us to be!
Your partner on the journey,