Recently, Pastor Drew delivered a sermon on the text of Jesus and the Rich Young Ruler. If you are unfamiliar with the text, the story is simple...one day, a man approaches Jesus and asks what he must do to inherit the Kingdom of God. Jesus tells the man to sell all that he has, and follow him. Being rich and possessing of much, the man goes away sad.
The emphasis of the tale can be interpreted in several ways, but the constant is that the man did not anticipate the high cost of following Christ. Jesus didn't demand that the man give him the money, nor did he tell the man to sell all his goods for the benefit of the synagogue. Jesus was more concerned with the receptivity of the man to God...he knew the man's stuff would become a fence between the man and the will of God.
While this is an adequate recap of the sermon, there is an aspect of this story we too often gloss over...the idea of cost. Following after Christ is not supposed to be easy. It is supposed to be costly. Too often in church, we spend so much time on making the gospel accessible and easy...we talk of how with God "My yoke is easy, and my burden is light", that we forget that the same Jesus quoted there in Matthew 11:30 also told us in Luke 14:28-35 that we should be sure to have enough money to complete the towers we start to build.
When we sit and think about what it means to be a disciple...when we consider what "Come Walk With Us" entails...when we begin to knock that the door might be opened for us, we must remember that the cost of following Christ is high. God expects us to live in such a way that he is ever glorified through us, and in a way in which the Son is ever visible (Colossians 3:23). Never stop building the tower of faith whose foundation was laid in you long ago. Never let "stuff" bar you from the kingdom of heaven, and (in spite of the poetic wisdom of Robert Frost) do not let your own fences and hang-ups define your neighbors (Luke 10:29-37).