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
2 thoughts on “Love’s Cross”
Thank you so much for this Paul!! There are so many problems and woes that we definitely need to balance that out as we follow Jesus! It’s one of the reasons I wanted to dedicate this year to caregivers because there woe’s absolutely worries we’re magnified tenfold during the pandemic. I wanted to ensure I could help them focus on hope and love even if it was just for an hour or two! That’s not to say that I don’t often pray “Ok God that’s enough for now”…. But we keep going!
Amen! We have to keep going!
A scripture passage comes to mind that, for me, is descriptive of the way the world was, is, and will be and how those who strive to follow Jesus must approach this life in this world: All who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But wicked people and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3.12-15).
Point is, irrespective of what others do, irrespective of how the world continues on its weary way, we, who follow Jesus, must persist! Or, as I’m wont to say to you, carry on!
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