We continue our journey through Lent, in today’s Gospel Jesus reveals more of the sacrifice he will face. To fully understand the power of Jesus’ words “take up your cross” is not easy. We casually say ‘we all have our cross to bear’ relating to some difficult situation we have had to face, but Jesus is not talking about everyday situations, when Jesus spoke of the cross, He spoke of dying to our selfish ways that we might follow Christ wherever He leads us. The disciples, even though they would have witnessed many poor souls being forced to carry their cross as they were led to crucifixion, still did not fully understand what Jesus meant. Jesus doesn’t promise his disciples the road will be easy, those who follow him must be prepared to take up their cross, he knows the going will be tough, and he is beginning to prepare them for the difficult days that lie ahead.
Peter is very shocked by what he hears, he forgets all that he has learnt in the scriptures, the Old Testament prophecies that the Messiah must suffer. He reacts out of love, an immediate reaction that doesn’t want to see his beloved Lord and Master suffer, he can’t contemplate such an event. Jesus seems to be very harsh on Peter ‘Get behind me Satan’ yet Jesus knows that Peter has his mind on earthly things, earthly ways and not on the things of God.
Jesus said: "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves, take up their cross and follow me.’ Peter and the other disciples would soon discover the cost of this. After Jesus’ death and resurrection they were lost, frightened and in hiding. Yet through the power of the Holy Spirit they were given the strength to begin their own missionary work, and in many cases to face terrible suffering in the name of Jesus.
As we walk the way of lent we are walking the way of prayer, seeking God’s forgiveness, and we ask God to help us to be willing to make sacrifices, to take up our cross and follow Jesus. We are also walking the way of good works that we may to share the love of Christ in the dark places of our world.
May the Christ who walks with wounded feet, walk with us on the road
May the Christ who serves with wounded hands, stretch out our hands to serve
And may the Christ who loves with wounded heart, open our hearts to love…Amen
With Every Blessing....Val
The family of Margaret Edwards would like to thank you for the kind messages and cards they have received in their loss.