Revolutionary Lifestyle

Posted by on Mar 17, 2015 in Faith Words |

Words of Faith
Rev. Rita S. Platt
March 1, 2015
“Revolutionary Lifestyle” (1)

Making journeys is not unusual these days. People move to find work. People move to study. Young folks think nothing of travelling for gaps of years. We are a very mobile society.  But the journey of the Lenten season is different. It is an inward journey.

On this second Sunday of Lent Mark’s reading provides many firsts:

The first mention of the cross and the first of 3 times that Jesus discloses his forth             coming death to his disciples. In each case the disciples will respond inappropriately           after which Jesus will offer a call: “If anyone will follow me, let him take up his cross and          follow me.” (Mark. 8:34)

Jesus is calling us, too.  We are the church – ekklessia – “called out ones.” Jesus is calling us to a Revolutionary Lifestyle.

  • It is not about a privatized faith – “Jesus and Me.”  When we privatize our faith we cease to be salt and light in the world.
  • Not to church membership- where we define faithful as coming to church – contributing.
  • Worship and stewardship are good things- Discipleship is more

It is about commitment. But how far reaching will our commitment be?

  1. Will we be content to put Jesus’ will foremost in our lives some of the time?
  2. Will we consider it sufficient to take another step and put his will foremost in our lives             most of the time?
  3. Or will we decide to put his will foremost in our lives all of the time?

Practicing a revolutionary lifestyle requires number 3.

Therefore anyone who hears these words of Jesus and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on a rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against the house, yet it didn’t fall because it had its foundation on the rock. (Matthew 7:24-25)

It’s not just about hearing the word. It is about putting it into practice. “Don’t merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. “  (James 2:22)

According to the Hartford Institute of Religion Research, the US and Canada have over 200 denominations, with an additional 35,000 independent or non-denominational churches. All confess Jesus as Lord. What would it look like every member of everyone one of those groups understood discipleship as a lifestyle?  What if they really followed Jesus 24/7?  Jesus taught us to love and to practice forgiveness, to turn the other check…to care for those in need. Every member of every one of those groups is probably an unrealistic expectation. But you and I can make that choice, if we think it really matters. Do we think it really matters?

1.This sermon is based on The Renegade Gospel: The Rebel Jesus  by Miike Slaughter (Abingdon Press, 2014) . pp.37-54

2  http://hirr.hartsem.edu/research/fastfacts/fast_facts.html