What is your cross?
If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. Mark 8. 31 - 38
In today's gospel, Peter in Peter's own way protests Jesus's declaration that things are about to change, abuse and torture will come and ultimately Jesus will die but then rise in three days. That is a lot to take in, and like any of us would do, Peter says NO NO NO. Jesus's reaction to Peter's protest is harsh: "Get behind me Satan." Jesus cannot afford the temptation to doubt what he knows is God's call to ministry for him.
Then Jesus goes on to say to the disciples and to us, you must do the same. Do not let anyone or anything stand in the way of God's call to ministry...if you want to follow me, don't doubt yourself, don't listen to others who doubt you, take up your cross and let's get going.
And so I ask...what is my cross? what is your cross and what does carrying it look like?
My friend, mentor and priest, the Rev. Dr. Bob Dannals said it so perfectly in his meditation this week:
Jesus is clear with us: we are invited to take up our crosses and follow him. Notice, we are not to take up Jesus’ cross; that is presupposed. Because he took up his and defeated death, we are enabled to pick up ours. Crosses are many and they are daily. A six-year old being terrorized by a playground bully is a cross. A twelve-year old facing learning differences is a cross. A seventeen-year old who is stuck in isolation and loneliness is a cross. A cross might be the loss of a business, a world-wide pandemic, a pathology report, an addiction, a diminished savings account. We are to take them up and follow Christ. Follow him where? To final crucifixion? No! Through crucifixion to resurrection. Not following Jesus doesn’t avoid crosses and crucifixion, it avoids resurrection. During Lent each of us is given this invitation.
Follow this link to Bob's meditations.
And so I ask again, what is your cross, how can you carry it, and how will this Lent be different from the others because of it ?
Just as God named Abraham in today's Old Testament reading, changing his life forever, so we must name our crosses; our lives too will be changed.
Lent 2, Year B readings