From today’s reading...
I have told you this so that you may not fall away.
They will expel you from the synagogues;
in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you
will think he is offering worship to God.
They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me.
I have told you this so that when their hour comes
you may remember that I told you.” John 16:1-4
Time and again we see Jesus and the writers of the New Testament warn everyone that the journey upon which they were about to embark was fraught with peril, suffering, and turmoil.
This was not
SEND IN $1,000 AND YOU'LL BE TALL, THIN, RICH, AND FAMOUS WITH A FULL HEAD OF HAIR, FULLER LIPS, SLENDER HIPS, AND ALL THE RED BULL AND VODKA YOU CAN CONSUME!"
Jesus was more like a Marine Corps recruiter.
SON, TELL ME WHY I SHOULD ALLOW YOU INTO MY BELOVED MARINE CORPS. WE ARE LOOKING FOR THE FEW. THE PROUD. WE EMBRACE THE SUCK AND FOR THOSE WHO ARE FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO BE ALLOWED IN TO EMBRACE THE SUCKIEST OF THE SUCK AND MAKE IT THROUGH THE TOUGHEST TRAINING IN THE MILITARY, YOUR NAME WILL BE LISTED IN THE HALLOWED HALLS AND HEAD WILL BOW WHEN YOUR NAME IS MENTIONED. NOW TELL ME WHY I SHOULD BELIEVE YOU ARE WORTHY TO SUFFER WITH ME?"
But Jesus wasn't quite that tough. In fact, He wasn't tough at all when He chose you.
But He was honest.
And He didn’t sugar coat His message and our calling.
He did this so we would feely choose Him to match how He freely chose us, because loving completely and freely is the only way to...
Stay the course.
Keep the faith.
Now go sell something.