Vicar’s Reflection: Ordinary Sunday 20, 18 August 2019. The Tipping Point
I took our dogs for a walk the other day with my new shoes on. At least I considered them new. About halfway through our walk I realised that these shoes had reached the mid-point of their lives. In the course of our walk they went from being new to being old, no fault of the dogs. I’ve noticed this when travelling. I like to calculate the mid-point when we are no longer leaving but arriving as we pass the middle point of our journey. Today’s Gospel reading is a little like that; the turning point of Jesus’ ministry and life when he declares to his disciples that he and his message will be the dividing point for humanity. It occurs after Jesus established with his disciples that they understood who he was and his purpose, in Luke 9.20 when Jesus asked, “And who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ from God.” From that point on Jesus ‘sets his face towards Jerusalem’. It is almost as if once Peter made this declaration that is enough for Jesus: ‘They now know who I am – time now to get on with the business of dealing with the sin of the world and confronting the powers’. In all our dealings, there is always a point when we need to say “enough talk – let’s do what needs to be done!” Knowing that point requires wisdom. The teachings of Jesus are challenging and divisive. It costs more to walk with Him than the price of new shoes.