The First 15

Thursday January 21, 2021

by David Alexander

Opening Prayer

In the busyness of our everyday lives, we often fail to prepare our hearts and minds for reading God’s word and experience God in this time. Take a moment to allow this prayer to lead you into your time with God today.

As I enter into this time of prayer and reflection, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly; to re-center my scattered senses upon the presence of God.

Holy and loving God, in this new season I invite you to shape my soul with your words and inspire my life with your works. Teach me to walk in the way of peace and grace. AMEN.

*This prayer adapted from Lectio365, a mobile application developed by the 24-7 Prayer Network. To find out more about this resource, visit this link.

Scripture Reading

Luke 9:56-62

As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

He said to another man, “Follow me.”

But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”

Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”

Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”


We are understandably taken aback by how Jesus responds here. Despite what may seem a harsh response, Jesus is clear. There is no place for nostalgia  for those committed to service in the Kingdom of God. 

Reading this passage we should also bear in mind that the level of commitment demanded here by Jesus mirrors his own. Earlier in this same chapter, Jesus predicted his death for a second time. For Jesus, there is no turning back from what awaits him in Jerusalem. 

Nostalgia often grows out of our desire for comfort. The past seems as attractive as a nice warm bed, but Jesus says, “the son of man has no place to lay his head.” We wish for an easier life. Following Jesus demands a faithful life. 

Where might you be holding back today? What might Christ be calling you to leave behind? 

When you are finished with your time of reflection and before you close in prayer, spend a few moments committing the words of scripture to memory which come from Philippians 3:13-14.

“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Closing Prayer

Father, help me to live this day to the full,  being true to You, in every way.

Jesus, help me to give myself away to others, being kind to everyone I meet.

Spirit, help me to love the lost, proclaiming Christ in all I do and say.


*Our opening and closing prayers are  adapted from Lectio365, a mobile application developed by the 24-7 Prayer Network. To find out more about this resource, visit this link.

The First 15

Sign up to receive an email notification whenever a new devotional is posted to The First 15.