Adventure Where You Lay Your Head


Adventure Where You Lay Your Head
by Rev. Lance Armstrong O’Donnell, Pastor
St. Philip Lutheran Church and School
Chicago, Illinois

Meditation for Evening Prayer
5 October, A.D. 2011
Mt 8.18-34

“And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”” (Matthew 8:19-20, ESV)

Sometimes discipleship involves following Christ to “foreign” places and meanings in the Scriptures. Consider Peter, for example. He at first rejected Jesus’ interpretation of the Scriptures that required the Messiah to suffer, die, and then rise from the dead. Later Peter at first refused to visit people and eat food that God had made “clean” through Christ’s sacrifice. Following Christ meant Peter had to “go places” physically and spiritually that were really foreign.

The scribe described in Matthew 8.19-20 seemed to approach Jesus with a great spiritual adventure in mind, but on the particular day that he approached Jesus, discipleship did not mean travel. It meant providing a place for the teacher to sleep. It is as if to say, “You want a spiritual adventure? Let’s start right here. I need a place to stay.”

If Christ is who He says He is–Eternal Son of God, Creator and Sustainer of all things, Lamb of God and final sacrifice for sins, sender of the Holy Spirit, Lord of all Creation, Head of the Church–then the “adventure of Christian discipleship” may mean, like that scribe, that you need to stay right where you are and simply open your door, your heart, your life to some who are very near.

Indeed, sometimes the “great adventure” in Christ is right in the place where you lay your head.

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