Bringing the Text to Life

No Excuses Luke 9:51-62

Christianity is not an exercise of, nor does it produce experts in, excuse-making, blame-placing behavior. The life of discipleship thrusts one into the midst of all life''s turmoils and triumphs, without excuses.

During the 1984 presidential primaries the discrepancy between the career hopes and personal life of one candidate collided all over the network news. Gary Hart, young, bright, promising, was forced to withdraw from the campaign and end his political career because he was caught in suggestive, incriminating circumstances with a young woman, Donna Rice. While Hart's presidential dreams went up in smoke, Rice snagged another fifteen minutes of fame by signing up as the advertising symbol/spokesperson for a new brand of jeans. For several months we all had to endure ads featuring Ms. Rice's bejeaned posterior emblazoned with the name "No Excuses."

We all have our own excuses for not following through on our good intentions, not living up to the challenge of discipleship. The three would-be followers Jesus encounters in this week's Gospel text were great at manufacturing excuses that would allow them to gracefully bow out of discipleship when it got too demanding or uncomfortable. Jesus...

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