Tidings of Dis comfort and Joy.
No one likes to be uncomfortable. Look at the ads on TV. We want comfortable cars, comfortable mattresses, comfortable seating, comfortable clothes and comfortable toilet paper. And that makes sense because no one would choose a mattress that was uncomfortable. That would be insane. But can we take comfort too far? Is it possible that we can be too comfortable? The answer is yes. I had a professor in graduate school who once asked us if we were comfortable. Thinking he was concerned about my happiness I quickly answered yes. That was the worst thing that I could have done! It was a trick question! He went on to say that if we are comfortable then we aren’t being challenged. If we aren’t being challenged then we will not grow as a person. He went on to say that God wants us to be UN comfortable. He wants to keep us off balance so that we will be open to His guidance.
In today’s Gospel Jesus is beginning his ministry. His first message is repentance then he calls Peter and Andrew, then James and John. All of these men were fishermen. Not only was this their livelihood, it was how they identified themselves. Jesus, by saying,”repent”, was telling them to give up their old selves. Then by saying, “Come follow Me”, was telling them to take a new path and start a new life. He wanted them to give up the comfort of the known for the Dis comfort of the unknown. These four men had no idea what they were in for, but ultimately they found discomfort and joy.
Never did they reach a place where they were comfortable. Never were they complacent and that is what enabled them to grow in their faith to the point that they became the founders of the church we know today.
So the question I have to ask is, “are YOU comfortable?” When was the last time that you did something that made you uncomfortable? When was the last time that you stepped out of your comfort zone and did something new? Maybe go on a mission trip, attend a Bible study, volunteer at a homeless shelter, pick up litter, visit a nursing home, apologize to a friend, kiss your mother, call your grandfather, go to reconciliation or fast. We are here to grow. We are here to become the best people that we can possibly be. We are here to be the body of Christ. Christ did not live a comfortable life. He did not die a comfortable death. If we are to become better than we are, then we must live a life of discomfort and joy.