Fields of Gold Devotional
Day 8: October 21 by Rev. Dr. Kory Knott
A certain ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother.’” He replied, “I have kept all these since my youth.” When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “There is still one thing lacking. Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” But when he heard this, he became sad; for he was very rich. Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” He replied, “What is impossible for mortals is possible for God.” Luke 18:18-27
Every time I read this passage, I am struck by the question that is posed in verse 26. “Then who can be saved?” Much like the disciples, I have occasionally found myself wondering: Is it possible for us to actually do what Jesus is asking us to do?
In the late 1920’s, a man named George Mallory led an expedition to climb Mt. Everest. Like so many before him who had tried to scale the invincible giant, his first attempt failed, as did the second. With renewed energy, Mallory made a third assault. Unfortunately in spite of his determined efforts, disaster struck a fateful blow as an avalanche took the lives of Mallory and several other members of his team.
When those who had survived returned to England, they held a banquet to honor the ones who had perished. During the gathering, one of the survivors stood to acknowledge those who had come to mourn the loss of their friends. As he rose from his seat, he pointed to an enormous picture of Mt. Everest. With tears in his eyes, he addressed the image of the mountain on behalf of Mallory and the others. “I speak to you, Mt. Everest, in the name of all brave men living and yet unborn. Mt. Everest, you defeated us once; you defeated us twice, you even defeated us a third time. But someday, Mt. Everest, we will defeat you, because you can’t get any bigger, and we can!”
As I reflect upon the challenges that face us as we seek to meet the ministerial needs of an ever-growing mission field, I suppose there are some who wonder what is even possible. Are we able to accomplish that which Christ has set before us? Building upon the foundation, determination, and sacrifice of those who have brought us to this point, I am confident that, with God’s help… anything is possible!
Since our very first worship service almost 40 years ago, Custer Road UMC has been a church that understands the importance of building upon the work of those who have come before us. And just like those who followed after Mallory, we can be rest assured that the mountain of challenges that are before us can’t get any bigger… BUT WE CAN!
And that’s precisely what God calls us to do, to grow bigger and bigger in the faith of his beloved son, Jesus Christ. One day, perhaps another 40 years from now, the congregation here at Custer Road will look back and say, “Thank God for those who have faithfully climbed the mountain before us!”
Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
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