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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

Come and Die

(Jesus said to the twelve:)“A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!

“So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

“Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.

For I have come to set a man against his father,

 and a daughter against her mother,

 and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;

and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.

Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.” ~ Matthew 10:24-39

“When Christ calls a (person), he bids (that person) come and die.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

Come and die.

There are many ways to die, and I don't think Jesus (or Bonhoeffer) meant simply what happens at the end of our lives: the final, inevitable death.

We can die many, many times before that.

And in so doing, find life. Real life.

When we die to our selfishness and live for others.

When we die to our prejudices and open our lives to other.

When we die to our anger and bring about peace with others.

When we die to our greed and give generously to others.

When we die to our need to be right and forgive others.

When we die to sin and live for Christ.

There are many ways to die.

But there are also many ways to live. And the ways in which Jesus calls us to live are life affirming, compassionate, generous, forgiving.

When that is how we live, we will surely find Christ in places we never imagined.

Teach me to truly live, Holy One. Amen

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