Part of the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne and sharing in the Ministry with the Dorset Anglican cluster
Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time - 25 June 2017
Counting the cost..
Following Jesus is a rewarding but costly business. To follow Jesus is to take up the cross. To first-century listeners in a rebellious outpost of the Roman Empire, this could have meant only one thing - death. Crosses were not fashion items, or church furniture, but instruments of protracted, painful death. Few of us will face a call to such sacrifice, but publicly acknowledging and following Jesus may involve facing opposition even from those closest to us. It will, at the very least, mean that we adopt a totally new way of living, giving up the ambitions, dreams and goals that we cherish. Paul takes us behind the scenes for a deeper understanding Jesus died as our substitute and our representative. His death was in some way ours, and when we follow him we are accepting that he not only died for us, but we identify with that death and make it our own. This means that his life is also ours.
Our baptism represents our death to an old way of living and our entry into a new life, lived in obedience to, and for the glory of, God. This cautions us against too easy a view of our baptismal promises, whether undertaken on our own behalf or on the behalf of others. Baptism marks a profound change, and our baptismal vows need constant reaffirmation. Every day we determine to live in the light of those vows. This means that the motivation for our behaviour, the driving force of our decisions and the determining factor in our relationships, is the desire to live for God. The practical outworking of this will be different at different stages in our lives, and particularly challenges us at points of transition or in the light of new circumstances. But the underlying principle is the same for all of us whatever our age or life experience.
St Francis in the Fields
218-224 Hull Road. Mooroolbark
telephone (03) 9733 4626
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