Christianity -No hidden clauses, no small print!

Thursday after Ash Wednesday- DT 30:15-20/PS 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6/LK 9:22-25

IF”, says God! These two letters of the alphabet, when put together, make for a deadly combination with far reaching consequences for a Christian. And “IF”, is the operative word for Christian life.  Make no mistake; there is no force to follow Christianity even for a baptized Christian who lives with a million “what ifs” in his or her mind. But once you say ‘yes’ to the IF, then there is no BUT!

In our readings of today, Moses, reflecting the mind of God, says precisely that. ‘If you obey the commandments of the LORD, your God, then you receive from his hand the gifts of life.’ He also says, ‘If, however, you turn away your hearts and will not listen, but are led astray and adore and serve other gods, I tell you now that you will certainly perish. While some may see in it a pressure to conform, that most certainly is not God’s mind. He wants the choice to be our and so He places the consequences of our choices before us when he says, “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then.

But here is what God won’t do. He won’t make the choice for us. He will suggest what He thinks is right, He will plead that we make the right decision; but he won’t choose for us. That stretching forth to choose, especially during Lent, is a choice we have to consciously make.

Jesus too, offers us that very same choice. He says “IF you wish to be my disciple, deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow me”. Unlike the gospel of Matthew and Mark, the gospel of Luke uses the word ‘daily’. Not only is Jesus offering us a choice to follow him, He also lays the conditions of discipleship squarely on the table. There are no hidden clauses for a Christian, there is no small print and the cross looms large in the contract. Luke wants to stress that the day- to- day following of Jesus involves “the cross”.

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