Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Take Up Your Cross

And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power." Mark 8:34-9:1

The life of faith is filled with joy and it is also filled with challenges. Today I went to our ecumenical Vacation Bible School to open them with prayer. The room was filled with young exuberant people. They were singing, dancing and wiggling with life and joy. And then I went to offer communion at our senior home. A dozen or folks with multiple challenges, some unable to see or participate fully anymore.

Jesus called the people together to help them understand that exuberance is temporary and that faith requires being in it for the long haul. The road is bumpy and often challenging beyond measure. The measure of our faith is not in our exuberance, wealth or showiness, but in our endurance and strength for the long haul. A life of faith is not a pretty, shallow thing, but a deep beauty, ever lasting.

Today I ask God to help me be strong for the long haul. May our vision not be narrowed and nor our spirits flag, but may we rather trust God to walk with us on the rockiest roads. May we know our Savoir understands then rough places we face, and will be with us in the darkest valleys today.

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