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SIXTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
 
Proverbs 9:8-12
Philemon 1:7-17
Luke 14:25-33
Psalm 119:169-176
 
If you read the gospel lesson you found it filled with harsh words and demands. You read words about following in Jesus' footsteps, re-orient your lives, giving up what is near and dear for the sake of the coming kingdom of God. There are also words about hating family members and friends, all for the sake of carrying the cross.
 
This gospel urges us to count the cost of . . .

SIXTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
 
Proverbs 9:8-12
Philemon 1:7-17
Luke 14:25-33
Psalm 119:169-176
 
If you read the gospel lesson you found it filled with harsh words and demands. You read words about following in Jesus' footsteps, re-orient your lives, giving up what is near and dear for the sake of the coming kingdom of God. There are also words about hating family members and friends, all for the sake of carrying the cross.
 
This gospel urges us to count the cost of following in the footsteps of Christ before we take the first step. It is about being a disciple for the long haul. So what are the possible consequences of aligning ourselves with Jesus? It will cost us our lives and give us a new life. The call to discipleship is all-consuming; it becomes a part of the very fabric of our being. Jesus warns us that anything that competes with Him for our hearts can choke our spiritual lives.
 
Christian friends, we must know that we cannot make such a commitment on our own. Discipleship is a gift, flowing from the grace of God into which we have been plunged in the waters of baptism. There Jesus reaches out to us with power. In trust and faith we may rely on Jesus for the ability to carry the cross. Throught the power of baptism we become His disciples today, tomorrow, and for the rest of our lives.
 
      To follow Christ we must let go
      Of all that we hold dear;
      And once we have denied ourselves,
      Our gains become more clear.
 
Sunday's Prayer-- Grant, merciful LORD, to Your faithful people pardon and peace that they may be cleansed from all their sins and serve You with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our LORD, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen 

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