Luke chapter fourteen is where we find ourselves today. As the world deliberates on what it should do against a situation that never should have happened, we measure our guns and weigh the cost of war along with the cost of peace.
How are we supposed to react to something so horribly wretched??
I do not know.
War never changes.
That is the mantra of one of my favorite video games. It means that war is always bloody, stained, and wreaking of death. It is something that is constant, it has always been around and will always be around whether it is on the surface in the grand scheme of things like a World War or as little as the family feuds we personally tend to find ourselves in.
In Luke 14, this common element is used as an example. It is the reason why "If anyone comes to me [Christ] and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters... and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple."
Discipleship comes at a cost. "Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple."
In this war against sin, death, and the Devil, we may have already won. But, that does not mean that we are safe. In the deliberations of Christ, He needs to know who will follow him and who will become hindered. Who will let themselves fall into temptation and who will succeed in driving off evil.
Who will be willing to let everything else go in order to succeed in the final goal, the victory march, to clutch on the trust in God and enter eternal life with Him.
How are we supposed to react to something so horribly impossible??
By the grace of God, we are who we are
His grace towards us goes not without effect...
His grace is epitomized in the sending and sacrifice of His Son.
His grace becomes our mantra.
It is by this grace that we are given a faith to hold onto the Truth, we are delivered from our unruly ways, we are forgiven, and we are made clean.
That is why He tells us we must hate our families and hate ourselves. It is because we are wretched sinners deserving of death. It is because we distract ourselves and our families become distractions from focusing on the goal, focusing on God.
But, that is also why we must love our families. Just as God loved us, we too must love them. Just as God cares for us, we care for them. We learn from our relationships a glimpse of what God's love for us must be. We are blessed by our loved ones when they strengthen our faith, when they are there for us, when they also love us.
His grace goes not without effect.