Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Immediately after Jesus has told Peter that he is the rock on which he will build his church, Jesus is calling Rock "a stumbling block. (Matthew 16:21-28)" Peter's notion of a messiah is all glory. So when Jesus predicts that he himself will suffer and die before coming into glory, Peter tells him that he shouldn't think of such things. Jesus insists that he will be a suffering Messiah.
Like Peter, we don't want to think that that there is no glory without the cross. But Jesus assures us that, if we are serious about being a follower of his, then we must follow him through suffering and death to risen life.
Jesus is calling us to take up our cross, not his. Each of us sooner or later has their own cross to carry. We don't have to invent one or search for one. The cross intended for each of us comes our way. Most of us can remember many hard times in our lives.
I had hoped that once I retired I had come through the cross to glory! But there has been still much pain and worry to deal with. I do have a calm, peaceful life, and sometimes I wonder where's the cross. Meditating on this passage this morning, it occurred to me that maybe I've been carrying my cross for so long that I no longer notice it. I also found myself thinking that part of my cross now is my empathy for those I love who have problems and worries and illnesses.