Let us pray:
O good and gracious God, heavenly Father +
Grant us Your Spirit of Truth and Peace, that we may understand Your holy Will and follow Your Directions and trust Your Promises from the bottom of our heart all our life.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit – one God – now + forever.
Now large crowds were accompanying Jesus, and turning to them he said, “If anyone comes to me 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. Whoever does not carry his own cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t sit down first and compute the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish the tower, all who see it will begin to make fun of him. They will say, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish!’
Or what king, going out to confront another king in battle, will not sit down first and determine whether he is able with 10,000 to oppose the one coming against him with 20,000? If he cannot succeed, he will send a representative while the other is still a long way off and ask for terms of peace. In the same way therefore not one of you can be my disciple if he does not renounce all his own possessions.
“Salt is good, but if salt loses its flavor, how can its flavor be restored? It is of no value for the soil or for the manure pile; it is to be thrown out. The one who has ears to hear had better listen!”Gospel of St. Luke 14:25-35
1 Jesus Christ, my sure defense
And my Savior, now is living!
Knowing this, my confidence
Rests upon the hope here given,
Though the night of death be fraught
Still with many an anxious thought.
2 Jesus, my Redeemer, lives;
Likewise I to life shall waken.
He will bring me where He is;
Shall my courage then be shaken?
Shall I fear, or could the Head
Rise and leave His members dead?
3 No, too closely am I bound
By my hope to Christ forever;
Faith’s strong hand the Rock has found,
Grasped it, and will leave it never;
Even death now cannot part
From its Lord the trusting heart.
4 I am flesh and must return
To the dust, whence I am taken;
But by faith I now discern
That from death I shall awaken
With my Savior to abide
In His glory, at His side.
5 Glorified, I shall anew
With this flesh then be enshrouded;
In this body I shall view
God, my Lord, with eyes unclouded;
In this flesh I then shall see
Jesus Christ eternally.
6 Then take comfort and rejoice,
For His members Christ will cherish.
Fear not, they will hear His voice;
Dying, they shall never perish;
For the very grave is stirred
When the trumpet’s blast is heard.
7 Laugh to scorn the gloomy grave
And at death no longer tremble;
He, the Lord, who came to save
Will at last His own assemble.
They will go their Lord to meet,
Treading death beneath their feet.
8 O, then, draw away your heartsOtto von Schwerin (1616-1679) translated by Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878)
From all pleasures base and hollow;
Strive to share what He imparts
While you here His footsteps follow.
As you now still wait to rise,
Fix your hearts beyond the skies!