Monday, 6 September 2010

Hard Discipleship Part II: To Serve Is to Suffer

Further to yesterday's Hard Discipleship sermon notes post below; an insightful essay by Ajith Fernando in Christianity Today in which he concludes: 
In a world where physical health, appearance, and convenience have gained almost idolatrous prominence, God may be calling Christians to demonstrate the glory of the gospel by being joyful and content while enduring pain and hardship. People who are unfulfilled after pursuing things that do not satisfy may be astonished to see Christians who are joyful and content after depriving themselves for the gospel. This may be a new way to demonstrate the glory of the gospel to this hedonistic culture.
I've come to realize I spend a lot of time trying to make worship more convenient for everyone so they will come; keep the service as short as possible, provide the readings in the bulletin so people don't have to go to all the effort of bringing their own Bibles, balance the music styles, avoid too much humour, avoid too little, provide children's ministry (read childcare somewhere other than where the "main" service is being held), and so on. There was nothing convenient in Jesus' description of discipleship in yesterday's gospel (Luke 14.25-33). Jesus, like Aslan, is good, but he is not tame. Following Jesus is not easy. It is slow and messy work. I think we've all got some cowboy-upping to do in our worship and discipleship.

All here: To Serve Is to Suffer | The Global Conversation