In these ongoing days (years?) of the global assault of the coronavirus, these days of our continuing prayers that it ceases and that we return to normalcy (or discover a new normal!), I reflect on Jesus words: “If any would by my disciples, let them deny themselves, take up their cross and follow me.”
I reflect, too, on Jesus’ necessity in teaching this lesson; following his predictive pronouncement of his death. Jesus’ first disciples didn’t want a suffering Messiah; a Messiah without a messiah-complex of sure, easy victory.
I’m not sure I’m any different. “C’mon, Jesus,” oft I pray (cry!), “fix what ails the world (and me)!”
But (and this, I think, is a hard edge, a tough truth about discipleship) Jesus calls me to follow him into a world laden with worries and woes, anxieties and fears. A world ever problem-full. A world never problem-free.
And the cross that Jesus calls me to carry is not only what I consider to be my difficulties, struggles, worries and woes, anxieties and fears, but also, even more, my faith, hope, and love. Especially my love, which, as my sainted namesake wrote, despite all appearances to the contrary, despite every reason not to do so, “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
And love, like Jesus, never fails.
© 2021 PRA
#carryingthecross #discipleship #neverfailinglove
 Matthew 16.24
 1 Corinthians 13.7