2nd Sunday of Lent - Take up Your Cross
A Reading …
31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
34 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.
New Revised Standard Version
A Thought …
What does it mean to ‘take up your cross’?
I had a very interesting encounter one evening following a church meeting. On this particular occasion I was walking home with another member of the congregation when a conversation struck up with a local man. He shared of how an encounter with God had caused his whole life to be changed beyond recognition. It was a conversion story with such epic events that you could not help but be captivated and inspired. He was a man in his 30’s dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, nothing about him stood out as particularly different to anyone else that night, but his whole face shone with the love of God as he shared his story. He spoke of how for a period of time he felt prompted to carry a simple wooden cross. Not a small cross hidden in his pocket, or around his neck as a piece of jewellery but a cross of several feet which he held in his hands as he went about his daily life. He was well known for his misdemeanours in early life, his drug abuse and alcoholism but now he wanted to be known as a follower of Christ whatever the reactions or abuse he might encounter. He took seriously the call to ‘take up your cross and follow Jesus.
We are not all called to such an act of that proportion but we are called to take up our cross daily to follow Jesus, so a few thoughts to ponder …
When does our cross show in our daily life? What conversations do we share with our families, work colleagues, neighbours or friends about our faith or are we afraid of rejection or ridicule? What about the injustices we see around us, do we stand up for our Christian values and beliefs or are we sceptical it will make any difference?
Let us look for the opportunities that God will present to us, take that step of faith and not think of ourselves but set our minds on divine encounters … let us all carry our cross and may our faces shine with the love of God for all to see!
A Prayer …
you call us to turn away from our own selfish interests,
to take up our cross, and to follow you.
To find our lives,
may we live them in service of your mission.
As we come before you,
give us open hearts and open hands.
Make us eager to hear your voice
and seek your guidance.
Open our minds to your ever-present spirit
that is always moving within and around us
Open our spirits to your nudging
and open our lives to your love. Amen.
The Minor keys blogspot.com
Blessings to all,
Please use this links to view Maria's other Lent thoughts: