These days I feel not much happens by coincidence. I believe in a transcendent God who loves me and is so anxious to get my scattered attention that everything in my life can be connected in a meaningful way if I just take the time to see and to listen. To just be in God's presence.
So, here I sit in my cozy chair, computer on my lap, coffee cup in hand. It is dawn. In one month you will be reading the verses given to me (at random) and my response to them. Seventy years ago, 1/27, Auschwitz was liberated. Today's verses reminded me of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the courageous Lutheran pastor hanged by the Nazis in 1945. In The Cost of Discipleship he writes of cheap grace that he feels will destroy the church. "Cheap grace is the grace we bestow upon ourselves...the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline.....grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate." (italics mine)
Eugene Peterson, The Message, translates Jesus words: "Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the drivers' seat; I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?"
So, here I sit. Cozy chair. Computer. Coffee. What is my cost of discipleship to follow Jesus Christ?