A rich man approaches Jesus and asks how to inherit eternal life. Jesus tells him to sell what he owns, give the money to the poor, and follow. Jesus will accept nothing less than our very selves. Like the rich man, we too are left defenseless and grieving by Jesus’ radical call to leave behind and give away what we count on for our own security. He wants us, and therefore also wants the things that keep us from him; he gazes upon us in love, even as he calls us to leave behind our false sources of security. How hard it is for us camels to pass through the eye of the needle! We too grieve at the impossibility. It is in fact impossible for us, yet more than possible for God to make it so. For we have a “great high priest who has passed through the heavens, the Son of God,” who is both able to sympathize with our great weakness but also to provide mercy and help. While eternal life on the other side of the needle is a free gift that only God can give, it is a gift that claims the entirety of our lives and therefore reshapes our stewardship of whatever earthly goods we do have. For first and foremost we are called to follow the Christ who gazes upon us in love. Since we are his, following him we will enter through the eye of the needle, leaving behind what cannot fit through with us. In doing so we are promised that we will gain everything: a hundredfold more in this life in a new community under the Cross, “and in the age to come eternal life” (Mark 10:30).
The scriptures for this Communion Sunday are Psalm 90:12-17, Hebrews 4:12-16, and Mark 10:17-31. Songs for this Sunday are #688 “Lord of Light” vs. 1 & 3, #583 “Take My Life” vs. 1, 2, 4 and “God of Grace” vs. 1-3. We give thanks to this week’s Worship Leaders, Production Crew, Musicians, Pastor Armin & Deacon Bri!