#Sacrifice holds the story together in today’s #Gospel – Luke 9:51-62. When I went to my first Opera in the Ballpark in San Francisco the opera being simulcast onto the Jumbotron, flanked by huge stacks of speakers was Lucia di Lammermoor. The inherent over-the-top drama of opera and the intense emotional presence of the art form were pushed to the limits by this technological ramping up. So, when Lucia sang, Renounce all passions but love, I was transported by the power of the idea.
Jesus has set his face towards Jerusalem in this Gospel story. That is, he has resolved to make a planned confrontation with the political powers of his world, and he has prepared himself spiritually to do so – he is sacrificing safety, comfort, and mortal life for this goal – he is renouncing all passions but love.
Thus, when his impetuous and very recognizable disciples ask for permission to take vengeance on inhospitable towns through which they are traveling, he urges them to let go of that passion for the sake of the greater goal. Similarly he encounters individuals along the way who either ask to follow him, but only after taking care of some responsibilities in the normal rounds of human life, or whom he asks to join them in their cause, and is met with the same prevarication.
The Gospel ends with this earthy proverb that Jesus gives us to be clear about what following him entails, No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God. For those of us who physically walk in #SFPride2016 today, and for those who are joined with us in the #BelovedCommunity may we keep our eyes fixed on the goal ahead - #love.