30th Sunday After Pentecost

The Reading is from Luke 18:18-27
At that time, a ruler came to Jesus and asked him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’ ” And he said, “All these I have observed from my youth.” And when Jesus heard it, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” But when he heard this he became sad, for he was very rich. Jesus looking at him said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” But he said, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”

This is a difficult passage for some to understand. This passage is less about giving up money and more about giving up whatever you need to give up to follow Christ. The example was this rich man and he need to free himself from his things in order to follow Christ, it is not meant that we all need to give up money or houses, or the 47″ flat screen TV! We might be asked to give up our very lives to serve the kingdom.

This Sunday I preached on what we need to give up to Come and Follow Christ. I used the example of Fr. Daniel Sysoiev who was murdered in his Moscow Church by a masked gunman for preaching against Islam and converting Muslims to Christianity. Fr. Daniel is New Martyr in our Orthodox Church, not the first and certainly not the last, to fall at the hands of radical Islam. Fr. Daniel gave his life for preaching the truth, are we willing to die a martyrs death for the truth?

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