Monday, June 12, 2006


Reading the Word
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Reflecting on the Word
The path of discipleship is narrow, and it is fatally easy to miss one's way and stray from the path, even after years of discipleship. And it is hard to find. On either side of the narrow path deep chasms yawn. To be called to a life of extraordinary quality, to live up to it, and yet to be unconscious of it is indeed a narrow way. To confess and testify to the truth as it is in Jesus, and at the same time to love the enemies of that truth, his enemies and ours, to love them with the infinite love of Jesus Christ, is indeed a narrow way. To believe the promise of Jesus that his followers shall possess the earth, and at the same time to face our enemies unarmed and defenseless, preferring to incur injustice rather than to do wrong ourselves, is indeed a narrow way. To see the weakness and wrong in others, and at the same time refrain from judging them; to deliver the gospel message without casting pearls before swine, is indeed a narrow way. The way is unutterably hard, and at every moment we are in danger of straying from it. If we regard this way as one we follow in obedience to an external command, if we are afraid of ourselves all the time, it is indeed an impossible way. But if we behold Jesus Christ going on before step by step, we shall not go astray. But if we worry about the dangers that beset us, if we gaze at the road instead of at him who goes before, we are already straying from the path. For he is himself the way, the narrow way and the strait gate. He, and he alone is our journey's end.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer -The Cost of Discipleship

Responding to the Word
Help me to consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that I might not grow weary and lose heart. Help me keep vivid in my mind the extraordinary life He lived, His calmness with controversy. His storminess with hypocrisy. His authority in teaching. His humility in serving. His quickness with compassion. His slowness with condemnation. His readiness in defending others. His reluctance in defending Himself. His joy at unexpected faith. His sorrow at unbelief. His submission to the Father. His resistance to the Devil. His daring in the way He lived. His dignity in the way He died.
Thank you, O God, for the steps Jesus left behind, so clear and distinct and unswerving. And so impossible...unless my eyes are ever and always only on Him.
Ken Gire

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