Fall on my knees, fall on my pride
I’m tripping over all the times I’ve lied
I’m asking please, but I can see in your eyes
You don’t need tears for alibis
It’s true what they say
Love must be blind
It’s why You’re still standing by this sinner’s side
You’re still by my side when all the things I’ve done have left you bleeding
Come undone, surrender is stronger
I don’t need to be the hero tonight
We all want love we all want honor
Nobody wants to pay the asking price
This excerpt of lyrics is from one of my favorite Christian songs titled “Undone” by the band FFH. The lyrics are quite bold, are they not??? We may think it is easy being a Christian, yet while the reality is that it is easy to SAY we are Christian, BUT it is not easy to BE a Christian. People open up the Bible to “read” it, throw a couple bucks in the offering plate, and say “I will pray for you”; while in reality they are just looking at the words, give a couple bucks because they feel obligated instead of doing it with the right intention, and the “I will pray for you” is just a phrase that rolls off the tongue to console another person, when no prayer is actually said at all.
In Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, he tells the people that through baptism in Christ the people have become clothed in Christ. He is making a point that they have chosen not only say they have faith, but also are to follow the teachings of Jesus and by doing so they are in God’s favor. Within Christianity, we see people preaching about following Jesus yet not putting what they are preaching into practice. Paul is talking to the Galatians about that very thing. He is instructing the Galatians that there is a responsibility by following Christ, as much as they have faith. Paul is reminding the Galatians, and us, that Jesus said:
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”
In our world today, for example, let us look at condemnation of different groups of people; there is hatred toward them. Love is not being shown toward one’s neighbor, often because a person may be afraid of being persecuted by another “Christian peer”. But is that not what the point Jesus is trying to make??????? We can feel comfortable in saying, “I believe that Jesus died for my sins so I was baptized to show it, I read the Bible and go to church, and I put money in the offering plate.” Sure that is part of being a Christian, but that is merely a “one-way street!” That is saving one’s own life. There is more to it when it comes to being a Christian… We must listen to what God asks of us; do what is right to not save our life, but do what it takes to lose it so that Jesus will save it.
Jesus is quick to boldly tell his disciples not to say in public that he is “The Christ of God”. There is good reason for that related to what we read further in the passage from the Gospel of Luke; where not only does foretelling of the persecution and Passion of Christ will take place, but also will those who choose to believe and follow Jesus will be persecuted for their actions. Jesus bluntly puts it that there is going to be an “asking price” by choosing to follow Christ, and that one has to be willing to accept the negative consequences imposed by humanity; yet that asking price will lead to glory if people choose to accept the consequences.
Now back to the song… The lyrics, “Love must be blind, It’s why You’re still standing by this sinner’s side, You’re still by my side when all the things I’ve done have left you bleeding” is the story of humanity since Jesus’ death and Resurrection. Humanity has continued to mess up, even myself. We have seen it in the Crusades, in racism, in discrimination against women, our LGBTQ brothers and sisters, against minorities, and in oppression of the poor. As much as God continues to love us despite our continual mistakes, people often just use that as an excuse; “God will forgive me”. Or there is some other “justification” like, “The Bible SAYS…” trying to prove some point that people are sinning. The message that Jesus died for our sins is not missed, yet following the example which Christ set before us is totally being missed; the message of love for our neighbor, helping those in need, not pointing the finger. As in the song, if love is blind, then should we not also love everyone blindly, in the way that Christ loves us?
Everybody wants to say they follow Christ, wants others to see it, and wants reward for proclaiming they follow Christ. YET that is not the “asking price”!!! The asking price is truly doing what is right and even facing persecution for doing so. It is not about reading the Bible and spouting out Bible verses to prove one knows the Bible, but rather putting what is read into practice and action, even if it goes against the norm.
Lord, may we truly recognize the asking price which Your Son boldly stated to the disciples and to us through Your Word. Help us to have the courage to put the teachings into action, as much as it is not always easy. This we ask through Christ our Lord. Amen.