This post rehashes some points made in my sermon yesterdqy (which also spoke about the readings from Jeremiah 20:7-13 and Romans 6:1b-11 but causa brevitatis/tempora brevitatis* I omit those from this consideration, focusing on one verse from the gospel, Matthew 10:24-39).
Sadly the news this past week has included the imploding submarine which killed five people attempting to explore the Titanic four kilometres under the sea, seventy-eight people drowned out of five hundred people jammed into a boat on the Mediterranean by people smugglers, an attempted coup (or something or other) in Russia which has or has not weakened the ever marauding killing machine that is Putin's government, and, quite different in category, but still sad, news of a pupil in a UK school identifying as a cat and the principal of the said school taking a critic of the cat to task [addendum: this last item may not be true ... it turns out].
What is common to these items of news?
The over weening importance of self.
My rule of Russia as sole charge autocrat (or my ambition to autocratically lead my own private army). My greed as a people smuggler. My disrespect of compliance constraints on my innovative submarine. My aspiration to be whomever I want to be.
"Those who find their life will lose it and those who lose their life for my sake will find it." (Matthew 10:39)
No wonder Christianity is unpopular today!
*Today our annual Clergy Conference begins. Pray for us!