Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Losing Our Life
Today’s Gospel may be familiar to many of us. “Those who lose their life for my sake will find it.” Are we supposed to take this literally? Do we really need to lose our life for Christ?
Fortunately, most of us in North America do not have to worry about the possibility of being killed for our faith. There are places in the world where Christians do face the choice between faith and death, and we pray for them, but not here. Our concerns are more mundane: paying the rent or the mortgage each month, feeding our families or ourselves, keeping up with the bills, maybe saving for a family vacation or for college or for retirement, finding a good job to finance all of this. This is what the world considers a life: our job, our home, our income, our status. How can we lose all that? Are we to become homeless and starve? How does that benefit Christ?
Perhaps we can “lose our life” by focusing less on ourselves and more on Christ and the way a Christlike world would be. Can we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, in our own congregation, our community, the world? Doing so would cost us some of our money, some of our time and effort—would make us “lose” these things that count in the world. But it would gain us satisfaction, the knowledge that we have made a difference in at least one or two lives, the feeling of a worthwhile Christlike effort. Maybe in doing so, we would find a better part of our life, on earth and eventually in heaven.
Losing our worldly life in this way just might mean finding it.
Susan M. Dreydoppel, lay member
Northern Provincial Elders’ Conference