September 4, 2022: Changing the World

lamb stained glass

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Changing the World

Following Jesus is hard. We live in a world where we want our comforts, whatever or whoever they may be. We often like our Jesus neatly packaged on Sunday, and we like the odd mission or outreach work to fill some of our empty space. Very few of us ever go very far or risk our lives to share the love that Jesus has called us to share.

Maybe, like the king in today’s Gospel doing his calculations for war, we have decided that the cost is too high to jump in all the way. Jesus continued to push those who were drawn to his message to get rid of what’s in the way of seriously reaching out and doing work that doesn’t seem to be to our benefit—but can change the world.

There is a lot of anger and hate in the world today. If we aren’t willing to do whatever it takes to spread God’s love and to counteract the hate, how will this world survive? Like the disciples, we are called to action.

The other side of the king’s calculations is that they are human percentages. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Groups and countries seen as too weak or small to stand against their enemies have surpassed expectations of holding their ground and fighting back. What is it that compels them to risk everything?

As lovers of God and followers of Jesus and his teachings, we have a mighty backing to spread love and justice in this world. We may feel that we are giving up everything, but we will gain so much more for God. Maybe we should count, not the cost to us, but the cost to the world if we do not follow the path of love for all of God’s creation.

Trina Holmberg, Moravian pastor
serving St. Andrew’s Anglican Church, Camrose, Alberta