Willing to Bear the Cost
By Andrew Bolton of Harvest Hills, MO, USA
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. —Luke 4:1–2 NRSV
For me, the good news (the gospel) is the Worth of All Persons in the sight of God. The depth and height and breadth of this good news is simple. There are no exceptions. Not you, not me, not anyone is excluded from this good news. God loves all: sinner or saint; European, Asian, Australian, Latin or Anglo; African or Native American; male or female; homosexual or heterosexual. This is very good news for each of us.
It is easy to write, but it is not always easy to do.
Human dignity for all was, I think, at the heart of Jesus’ temptations. Does Jesus just save the hungry poor and damn the rich, just save Jews and damn Gentiles, just save the oppressed and damn Roman colonizers? In the Gospels, Jesus calls both a collaborating tax collector and a Jewish freedom fighter as the first apostles. In every interaction with Jesus, women walk away with new dignity. A despised outsider, a Samaritan, has compassion on a Jew who fell among thieves. A Roman centurion asks Jesus to heal his servant, and Jesus praises the soldier’s faith.
The cross is the way Jesus chose so the cost of saving all fell on him only. Jesus is a volunteer to do God’s full and gracious will. If I am to be an instrument in His hands, for the dignity of all, then I also have to be a volunteer…and be willing to bear the cost.
The problem is this: I am a devout coward. I hesitate. So I am a work in progress. But I do write, visit, call political leaders, and speak up for the poor and for the dignity of all. It is system change, a law change, that brings justice nearer for all.
God, may my deep hope align with your deep vision. Release in me anything that keeps me from freely following your Spirit. Amen.
Invitation to Spiritual Practice
Breathe deeply as you enter a time of silence. Become gently attentive to what may be restricting you from faithfully responding to the divine invitation in your life. Are there priorities, attachments, tasks, or motivations competing for your response? What does freedom for God look or feel like in you this day?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.