Luke and The Lost
Carpe diem is Latin for seize the day; enjoy the present, as opposed to placing all hope in the future. We have heard this phrase used many times as a motivator to consider what you have in front of you, to understand that too much time is spent worry about the future and to be and do something today.
Tony Campolo used this phrase as the title of one of his books. Carpe Diem encourages the reader to seize life and live it passionately, engaging the moment with intensity and gaining from life all that it has to offer. This is Tony’s call to overcome the deadness that pervades our culture along with ways this can be done. He says, “We don’t even sin passionately!” Nothing seems to motivate us. This was written many years ago. Are things better? Whose to say? I do think we are sinning more passionately. We are doing well in that arena. Many are fighting and marching to justify their sin. Not good.
I think about all this when I read the ministry troubles that arise in the next passage of Luke. I am pondering the wisdom Jesus shows as he deals with what the disciples are bringing before him.
Luke 9, The Message
49 John spoke up, “Master, we saw a man using your name to expel demons and we stopped him because he wasn’t of our group.”
50 Jesus said, “Don’t stop him. If he’s not an enemy, he’s an ally.”
51-54 When it came close to the time for his Ascension, he gathered up his courage and steeled himself for the journey to Jerusalem. He sent messengers on ahead. They came to a Samaritan village to make arrangements for his hospitality. But when the Samaritans learned that his destination was Jerusalem, they refused hospitality. When the disciples James and John learned of it, they said, “Master, do you want us to call a bolt of lightning down out of the sky and incinerate them?”
55-56 Jesus turned on them: “Of course not!” And they traveled on to another village.
57 On the road someone asked if he could go along. “I’ll go with you, wherever,” he said.
58 Jesus was curt: “Are you ready to rough it? We’re not staying in the best inns, you know.”
Jesus said to another, “Follow me.”
59 He said, “Certainly, but first excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have to make arrangements for my father’s funeral.”
60 Jesus refused. “First things first. Your business is life, not death. And life is urgent: Announce God’s kingdom!”
61 Then another said, “I’m ready to follow you, Master, but first excuse me while I get things straightened out at home.”
62 Jesus said, “No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.”
Think about it…
–Jesus said if they are not in your group, but using his name, it’s okay. Leave them alone.
–When faced with racial and ethic differences, they turned and went another direction. They didn’t set fire to the village or cause harm to those with different opinions. Mm.
–Jesus wants full commitment on the part of his followers. He will help you count the cost of discipleship so that you are going into this adventure with full disclosure. Don’t “sell” perspective believers that “all will be perfect” if you follow Christ. It won’t be. Tell the Truth. You will have His help to overcome this life.
–Don’t wait until all is perfect in you or around you. SEIZE the day! Carpe Diem! “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Mattew 6:33) He will take care of those things precious to you if you first take care of those things precious to Him.
“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” Matthew 6:33, The Message
Yes, Seize THIS day, God leading us!
In Jesus Name, Amen