The wisdom of Jesus is-- Awesome! Everlasting. Astounding. Surprising. Revolutionary.
Are you addicted to comfort?
Welcome to Radical and Relevant, where we are exploring the radical and relevant wisdom of Jesus in the gospels. In today's scripture from the first chapter of Luke's gospel, we hear once again about Mary leaving the comfort of her own home and undertaking a rigorous journey to help her cousin Elizabeth. In those days, Mary arose and went with all haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah. And she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why is it granted me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leapt for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."
The danger is to say, "We already did this one." Yes, and throughout our life, we will hear this reading dozens, even hundreds of times. But this only provides another opportunity to test our approach of allowing God to speak to us through a single word, a single phrase, or a single idea in each gospel reading. The word today is believed. The scripture reads, "Blessed are you who believed."
Our faith, our belief is under constant attack in a culture that doesn't believe in anything that it cannot see and touch. What is it God is calling you to have a long faith in? A long faith. What is a long faith? Long faith is a belief that has to be held for a long period of time with no proof that what you believe will come to pass. It's easy to have short faith, believe God will do something today or tomorrow, but long faith requires months or years of endurance and steadfastness.
Today's phrase is, set out and travel. Anyone who travels on the worst airline in the world, in the worst seat, yes, the worst seat, that one that's in the very last row, it doesn't recline, with people constantly bumping up against you as they go back and forth to the restroom. That is more luxurious and more convenient travel scenario than the kings and queens of ages past and the journey that Mary just set out on. Mary setting out to travel with the son of God in her womb was dangerous. It was another faith-filled act. And today's idea? Comfort. Comfort addiction is growing at a staggering pace in our culture. It's natural to turn to comfort during times of exhaustion and suffering. Comfort has its role to play. But what is the purpose of comfort? The purpose of comfort is healing, rejuvenation, and renewal in order to prepare us to face new challenges and opportunities in life. But there is also a dark side to comfort. Comfort is seductive.
When comfort becomes the goal of our lives, we begin a debilitating downward spiral. Once we are addicted to comfort, it shifts from strengthening us to weakening us. Comfort is a beautiful servant, but an ugly master. It will destroy you if you let it. It will sap your soul of strength, leaving you morally, ethically, and spiritually paralyzed, which will prevent you from standing up for what is good, right, true, and just, and doing whatever it is God next calls you to do in your life. Once you start living for comfort, there is no amount of comfort that will satisfy you. And make no mistake, comfort is an enemy of faith and mission. There is genius in the gospels. The gospels of Jesus Christ are as radical and relevant today as ever before. So go out into the world today and astonish people with your willingness to sacrifice so that others can live better lives and experience God. And remember, don't just be yourself, be the very best version of yourself. All that God created you to be.
Thank you, Ambassadors. You are changing the world. Have a great day. Bye-bye. Simon, come sit. I love you. Have a great day!