Hello friends in Christ, the readings for Sunday are Matthew 16:21-28; Romans 12:9-21; Jeremiah 15:15-21; Psalm 26.

“How much is this going to cost me?” It’s a question that goes through our heads all the time – at home, at the store, at work. Cost can be calculated in terms of money, time, energy, reputation, etc., and the answer has a big effect on the choices we make. This Sundays readings all relate in some way to question: What is it going to cost me to follow Jesus?

The answer, in one sense, is everything. Jesus says, “Pick up your cross and follow me.” A cross is a sign of death. It is the death of a life that’s lived on my terms rather than God’s (Matt 16). When St. Paul calls us to practice “genuine love”, that includes such radical behaviors as blessing our enemies and refusing to hate (Rom 12). The cost of Jeremiah’s faith is that he gives up his right to vengeance, instead trusting that job  to the LORD (Jer 15). The psalmist, in the same spirit, cries “Vindicate me, O Lord!” (Ps 26)

The ultimate answer to this question, however, is nothing. That is to say, those who choose not to follow Christ, thinking the cost is too high, will find in the end that they have gained nothing and lost everything. What has following Jesus cost you lately? How has he provided for you despite these costs?