When I drive into my neighborhood, I pass by not one but two cars that have the same exact decal on their windows. It is not some political statement or baseball team, but a simple graphic saying, “He is greater than I.” I have seen this same image on other vehicles, on coffee mugs and last year at the Jiu Jitsu World Championships in Las Vegas I saw it tattooed on the side of a man’s neck.

Settled in the sand. Sun on her shoulder. Sweet quiet wind across the shoreline. Steady and constant whisper of waves running wet fingers up the beach could barely touch her. Laying there, just far enough away from the fondling foam to feel its icy shock on the tips of toes. In and out, water breaking, reaching, falling back into the deep expanse.

Identity theft is a modern crime that can ruin not only a person’s bank account but their life! Simon Bunce of Hampshire, England not only had his credit-card number stolen on-line but was arrested and falsely accused of being a pedophile when his card number was used to buy child pornography. Fortunately, the story has a somewhat happy ending, as Bunce was eventually cleared by the police.

While I really think that the United States of America holds the best possibility for a good life on the globe, I’m afraid we are not impenetrable.  It’s a fine idea and the layout of checks and balances, Bill of Rights, and distribution of power seems just perfect. But, you see, human beings are not good.  So no matter how well we design a government or society, it eventually will fall apart. It’s not because the system isn’t great on paper. It’s because people generally are not only evil, but also not too bright.

The words of our Lord found in the 10th chapter of Matthew’s Gospel are stark and difficult words to hear. They are marked by a raw honesty about the faith, about discipleship, about what it means to be called a Christian. There is a foreboding darkness hanging over Jesus’ words in this section. It is not all sunshine and rainbows or a prosperity preacher’s Pollyanna dreams.