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Luke 13:22-30

The Word of God

Jesus went through one town and village after another, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, 'Lord, will only a few be saved?' He said to them, 'Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. When once the owner of the house has got up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, "Lord, open to us", then in reply he will say to you, "I do not know where you come from." Then you will begin to say, "We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets." But he will say, "I do not know where you come from; go away from me, all you evildoers!" There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrown out. Then people will come from east and west, from north and south, and will eat in the kingdom of God. Indeed, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.'

Luke 13:22-30
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Every artist, musician and athlete whose performance I enjoy will speak of training, dedication and commitment. Jesus calls us to think of what is important to us and to consider the efforts we make. Salvation remains God’s gift but I demonstrate my readiness and desire by my ‘striving’. My time of prayer trains me to listen and prepares me to respond to the word of God.
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    • The person who reaches their true destiny is the one who enters by the narrow door of personal conversion and an intimate relationship with Jesus. How do we come into that space? By reading Scripture and coming to know Jesus in the quiet time we might spend in prayer with him. This is what Sacred Space is all about!
    • Jesus, just like the disciples we too ask you to ‘teach us to pray.’ How can we pray from the heart and come into your presence singing for joy? Since you call us into intimacy with you, enable us yourself, Lord, to answer that call.
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    • True discipleship is not a casual relationship with Jesus or a selective acceptance of his teaching. The cost of discipleship involves a sacrificial kind of love which commits the believer to Christ and to all that he teaches, both by word and example. Is my following of Jesus half-hearted, or fully committed?
    • Even though the door to God’s kingdom may be narrow, due to the degree of commitment required, it is open and available to everyone. People will come to it from east and west, from north and south – from everywhere, in short. Those who ‘stand outside’ are those who refuse to accept the reign of peace and justice, joy and love, which God so graciously and freely offers to everyone.
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    • Jesus’ message is a warning for those who think themselves secure. I am here, praying, seeking signs of God's presence in my life. God already looks on me with love and I already respond.
    • My time of prayer draws me into a relationship that shapes how I see myself and how I see the world. I show who God is to me by my words and actions.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Jesus does not give a direct answer to the question, ‘Will only a few be saved?’ Saint Paul insisted that ‘God wants all to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth’.  But there is a challenging image here: a narrow door, like a turnstile in a stadium. We cannot take salvation for granted. I need to keep my eye on that turnstile, keep pushing towards it.
    • Scribes and Pharisees looked for salvation by keeping the laws and regulations to the letter, wearing a religious uniform and being seen by others as pious. Jesus points inside; the narrow door is the door of the heart. It can be opened by everyone, of any race or colour. In religious matters Jesus points to the interior, away from uniforms and external practices.
    • Sometimes we like to picture Jesus as gentle and forgiving, not because of what it says about him but because it seems to allow us to relax. I accept that Jesus places a challenge before me in telling me about the narrow door. I acknowledge that there are choices I must make and I ask Jesus' help.
    • I bring my joys and hopes, my anxieties and difficulties, before Jesus in my prayer. I speak to him about them, listening for his voice as I come to know my own life better. My prayer makes it evident ‘where I come from’ – what is important to me.