In Deuteronomy, Moses had taken a risk and led Israel out of slavery and toward the Promised Land. He encourages the people to continue to risk by choosing life in God as opposed to the lures of life without him. Paul risked his life time and time again in order share the gospel, and he is encouraging the people of the Corinth to risk walking a different route in Christ. In today’s gospel we hear Jesus offer tough teachings which may seem risky to preachers everywhere! These readings all seem to be filled with tough, risky teachings, that “we don’t talk about,” but if we dig a little deeper, we can experience the grace-filled message of hope and new life rooted in God’s love. We can clearly hear a call to risk, but also the promise of God’s steadfast presence to be with all who faithfully follow, no matter the outcome. So take a deep breath, dare to risk, crack open the “tough exterior” and experience the love and grace and life of these texts.