Who among you has ever attended a hot tub expo…?

…and were tempted to buy one?

Last Saturday I noticed several signs on Route 2. With bright bold red letters they announced a hot tub expo taking place that weekend. Hot tubs were being sold at a sharply reduced price. These small square white signs communicated a sense of urgency, as the sale was a one time opportunity.

Christ Carrying the Cross, Hans Holbein the Younger

Sometimes God would speak to His Old testament prophets by drawing their attention to something ordinary, like a pottery working with clay. This ordinary sign reminded me of a situation that I witnessed twenty years ago, but still speaks divine truth to me.

I knew someone who purchased a hot tub, and it became a painful embarrassment to him. He lived on a fixed income, yet he purchased a hot tub he discovered at a clearance sale. To him this was a welcome, and affordable blessing for his family to enjoy after a stressful week.

Until he opened the electric bill.

When he purchased this luxury item, he only considered the benefits of relaxing with friends and family, but he underestimated the long term costs. I have a lasting memory of that empty hot tub sitting adjacent to a redwood deck, an embarrassing reminder of an unwise decision. So it is with a profession of faith that welcomes the benefits of the cross, but doesn’t fully consider the cost of taking it up and following Jesus:

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)

Like the hot tub, a hasty profession of faith serves only as an empty embarrassment of a hasty decision.

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About Corey Sharpe

Where do we get our beliefs? Three theological perspectives have significantly shaped my Christian identity: Evangelicalism, the early Methodist tradition and liberation theology. From my coming to faith in a Baptist church and throughout my education in a Baptist school and college, I was nurtured by convictions that emphasized a spiritual rebirth, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the centrality of the Bible. Even when I disagree with certain aspects of evangelicalism, it has deeply influenced my sense of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. My seminary studies spawned my interest in early Methodism, particularly its approach to spiritual formation. Its leaders were convinced that only a foundation of doctrine and discipline would lead to a meaningful transformation of the heart and mind. In other words, having the mind of Christ enables me to be more like Christ. Life in a suburban culture obscures the increasing gap between the poor and rich, as well as the Bible’s close identification with the poor. My doctoral work in socio-cultural context exposed me to liberation theology, which helps me see redemptive history as a history of oppressed groups, written from the perspective of the powerless, about a God who is actively involved with the poor in their struggles. I am now the pastor at Huntingtown United Methodist Church in Calvert County, Maryland. Together my wife and I are raising 4 young theologians.
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One Response to Who among you has ever attended a hot tub expo…?

  1. Pingback: Who among you has ever attended a hot tub expo…? « HUNTINGTOWN UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

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