Yeshua says: Those who do not hate
father and mother
cannot be my students.

And those who do not hate brothers and sisters
and do not take up the cross as I do,
will not be in accord with me.

(Luke 14:26, 27; Matthew 10:37,38; Luke 9:23,24)

It is an intentionally provocative saying, offensive and objectionable. It is tempting to turn away from these harsh words, tempting to try to find a way to temper the dissonant tone.

I cannot translate my way out of the challenge. There is no escaping the fact that “hate” is the word used in this saying. It is intended to strike the hearer as a stern wake-up call to the dangers of attachment, even attachment to those relationships in life that are most precious.

To “take up the cross” is to put everything else down. You do not get to carry anything else along with you when it comes to cross-carrying. The challenge to follow where the truth leads is uncompromising.

The rich irony in this saying, of course, is that, if I take it seriously and attempt to follow where it leads, in the end I will love more authentically and more deeply. I will love without attachment. Unattached love is love that is not tainted with self-interest. When I am detached, the demanding, self-serving quality that so often poisons my love begins to dissipate.

Detachment tills the soil in which true love can grow. I am only free to truly love, when I am truly free of all unhealthy grasping attachments. When I let go all my earthly demands, my life comes into “accord” with the life of love that was embodied in the person of Jesus. I am set free to truly love when I have truly surrendered my heart to the power and presence of love alone. The end of clinging is the place where love begins to be born.

When I have come to the place within myself where I no longer need anything from this physical tangible material realm, I am free to live in the fullness of that love that is my true nature.

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Today I will watch carefully for those places in my life where I am attached and seek to put them down in order to liberate the power of love to work more freely in my life.

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