Note: As a personal, spiritual discipline, reviving my practice in the Lenten season of 2017, I revise the prayers I wrote then for each of the forty days of this Lent; each petition focusing on a theme, a concern weighing on my mind and heart or a care of my soul and spirit.
On following, not worshiping Jesus (being a meditation, in the spirit of Verna Josephine Dozier, on Matthew 20.28)…
O Jesus, You came amongst us, a Messiah without a messiah-complex, not to be served, but rather to serve through Your willing sacrifice of Your Self.
In this, You beckon me, in submission, to follow You, e’en more than You bid that I, in admiration, aye, adulation, worship You.
Thus, when my piety of gratitude for Your death for my sake would have me stationed, stay at the foot of Your cross, send me forth to follow You into the world to give my self away in sacrificial service.
Endnote: Dr. Verna Josephine Dozier (1917-2006), a nationally known religious educator, biblical scholar, author, and one of my finest mentors, when describing the Creation in harmonious relation between God and humankind, wrote of the distinction between “Worship (as) setting Jesus on a pedestal, distancing him, enshrining…him in liturgies, stained glass windows, biblical translations, medallions, pilgrimages to places where he walked…Following him is doing what he did…Following is discipleship” (The Dream of God: A Call to Return, Cowley Publications, 1991, page 98).