Pundits and pollsters are watching the weather in Iowa today. Today is the GOP caucus, the first real test of the Republican presidential candidates. Bad weather might keep people at home, rather than coming out and voting for a candidate. Bad weather tests people’s commitment. At some level of inconvenience, many people will give up on the idea of getting out to vote and will opt instead to stay home.
Some people’s faith is like their political commitments. Bad weather causes them to toss the towel, for a day, at least. Getting one’s feet wet is enough to keep a person from meeting with the saints, from serving a neighbor, from teaching a lost soul. But that day may be crucial. Spiritual destinies may be at stake on that day. A soul may lose out, because bad weather kept a Christian in.
We’re not talking death for one’s faith. No, not even persecution, nor ridicule, nor loss of property. We’re talking bad weather.
To such people, Jesus says, “Don’t bother!”
The Lord doesn’t want fair-weather friends. He refuses to accept people who wait around to bury their father, to conduct their business, to take care of their affairs, before they get around to following him. He didn’t negotiate with the rich young ruler. He let him walk away, that prime specimen, that fine candidate for a disciple.
He negotiates with no one. He lowers the bar for none. He extends no grace to the half-hearted.
Jesus wants people who will get up and move when he calls.
If you’re not going to come out during bad weather, if you’re not going to pay the full price, if you’re not going to give up all to follow him, don’t come at all.
Just stay at home and watch the caucus results on the telly.
Maybe some elders and preachers ought to say as much to those sitting in the pews.