Count the Cost (The Cross is too Heavy)
St. Thomas Memorial Episcopal Church
September 8, 2013
What does our Gospel lesson mean? “Hate your mother and father, your wife and children, your sisters and brothers.” I took a bus home this weekend to be with my family for the funeral of my grandmother. I got to see my mother and father, my brother, my aunts and uncles, my cousins. My own flesh and blood. The people closest to me in the world. The only people in this dog-eat-dog world who will have my back no matter what. And the text I’m supposed to preach on when I get back says that if I want to be Jesus’ disciple I must hate each and every one of them.
I didn’t admit it to myself until a few days ago, but I’m offended by this text. Why would the “Prince of Peace,” the one who “so loves the world” talk this way? This is a shocking passage. If it doesn't scandalize you--if it doesn't offend you--then you aren’t reading it correctly. It goes against the core values of this and every generation. It’s meant to be in your face. It’s meant to be offensive.