Called to discomfort

If you are interested in being comfortable, don’t be a Christian.

This message is sprinkled throughout the Gospels, but Jesus’s hyperbole in Matthew 8 is probably the most striking, direct indication of this discomfort that we are called to. ‘Let the dead bury the dead.’ That’s intense. How would that even work?

Obviously, this statement is so over the top that it isn’t meant to be an actual command. There are others like it (love God and hate your parents, sell all you have and follow me, take up your cross…) but this one gets a lot of hang up. The basic point is, being a Christian isn’t about being comfortable.

We need to look for the ways in our life in which we are being asked to step out of the boat in faith, and we need to stop deliberating on them and act. When we act, we need to commit and carry through, because it’s going to get weird. We need to stop looking back at what we are leaving behind, and let the dead bury the dead.

Holiness, personal holiness, is a moving target, always out in front of us. This doesn’t mean we should stop pursuing it, because it is only by pursuing holiness that we end up facing Christ. The great thing about failing at it, is that, just like Peter, we are commended for having faith, and pulled up by Jesus himself.

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