It’s true. Showing up is really hard to do. That’s why most of us don’t. We typically do not show up because it is really hard to get up enough momentum to actually get there. There are always excuses that we can make and do make. But really those excuses are nothing more than the sad reality that we are objects at rest and they tend to stay at rest.
In his ninth chapter, Luke records this interaction:
On the road someone asked if he could go along. “I’ll go with you, wherever,” he said. Jesus was curt: “Are you ready to rough it? We’re not staying in the best inns, you know.” Jesus said to another, “Follow me.” He said, “Certainly, but first excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have to make arrangements for my father’s funeral.” Jesus refused. “First things first. Your business is life, not death. And life is urgent: Announce God’s kingdom!” Then another said, “I’m ready to follow you, Master, but first excuse me while I get things straightened out at home.” Jesus said, “No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.”
Three men who couldn’t show up. They had great reasons but the reality was they had no momentum. They were objects at rest and they stayed there.
Jesus challenged people this way because he knew that they needed a spark to turn their potential energy into kinetic energy. He knew that there needed to be an explosion to move them off the spot and so that they would show up.
Showing up is hard to do.
Jesus wants his followers to show up because we must become what we want to save. Religious people might drive long distances to be a part of something they consider “dynamic” but the irreligious, those whose journeys are moving away from God will not.
If we want to be serious about reaching people far from God then we must show up. We must enter into their world. Jesus sends his disciples into the world. He wasn’t satisfied with a following he wanted sent ones and he sent them.