Thought for the Day: It is always important to remember who was hearing these words from the Gospel, and where they stood in history. Even the first audience of Matthew’s Gospel would have known of Jesus’ crucifixion. For their ears, Jesus wasn’t telling them to take the lead, to accept the way of the cross – the way of sacrificial love – as if they were to be the prototype. For those in the mid-80’s (50 years after Jesus’ death), they would have heard Jesus’ invitation with an emphasis on the word ‘followers’. To be a follower of Jesus required an individual to take up the cross because that was exactly what Jesus had done. Always remember that any sacrifice we make, or any follower might have made throughout the centuries, is but a response to the one whose love was so far-reaching, so extravagant, that it refused to reverse itself even in the face of death. Remember, follower means follower. We are only choosing to form ourselves after the extraordinary model of love we’ve encountered in Jesus.
Prayer: Again and again, we express gratitude for the love we’ve discovered in Jesus and the love we have met in those who follow him. O God whose love came to earth in human form, we are so thankful for all the amazing examples, guidance and encouragement we have received in our own attempt to following Jesus. In your grace, we will continue this journey. Amen.
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Rev. Bruce Frogge