I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below.
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the thoughts and words of this reading that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
Matthew 8:18-22 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Would-Be Followers of Jesus
18 Now when Jesus saw great crowds around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. 19 A scribe then approached and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” 20 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 21 Another of his disciples said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 22 But Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
Here we have the words of Jesus to a would-be follower. Jesus’ words sound harsh, but they may not be as harsh as they sound, though certainly there is urgency in them. It is likely that the scribe’s father wasn’t dead and maybe not even close to death. This would-be follower of Jesus most likely meant “I will follow you after my father has died.”
Maybe the point Jesus was making is that in everything there is a crucial moment to act and to move forward and if you miss that moment, then whatever it is will likely never happen. The man in the story certainly had felt the need to respond to Jesus with the direction of his life—to move forward charting a new path. But, if he missed that moment, then he might never do so.
Have you noticed that everytime you have the feeling you need to do something in particular, and don’t do it, that you are less and less likely to do it at all? Maybe it is the idea that “it’s the thought that counts” that allows us to substitute the thought for the action. There is an urgency in Jesus’ teachings. He urges us to act now.
Is there something important you need to do that you have been putting off? A letter you need to write? A phone call you need to make? A check you need to write? An act of service you need to do?
There is a lot of theology woven in to hymns. To enhance today’s reading, I recommend listening to “Jesus Calls Us”. I hope you will take a few moments to let the words of this message and the emotion that always connects us to music connect with your soul. Listen to this hymn on SoundCloud.
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster
“Jesus Calls Us,”
1. Jesus calls us o’er the tumult
of our life’s wild, restless sea;
day by day his sweet voice soundeth,
saying, “Christian, follow me!”
2. As of old the apostles heard it
by the Galilean lake,
turned from home and toil and kindred,
leaving all for Jesus’ sake.
3. Jesus calls us from the worship
of the vain world’s golden store,
from each idol that would keep us,
saying, “Christian, love me more!”
4. In our joys and in our sorrows,
days of toil and hours of ease,
still he calls, in cares and pleasures,
“Christian, love me more than these!”
5. Jesus calls us! By thy mercies,
Savior, may we hear thy call,
give our hearts to thine obedience,
serve and love thee best of all.