Thought for the Day: When Peter gave the answer to the question posed by Jesus, he had absolutely no idea what he was saying. We could be tough on Peter, but most everyone would have failed to understand the implications of suggesting that Jesus was the Messiah. Not only was Jesus about ready to put forth a definition that included suffering and death for him, but as we will hear in this morning’s sermon text, those who follow him must take up the cross as well. Even though this is the primary story we tell as followers of Jesus, it is as if every generation finds a creative way of de-sacrificing (if such a word existed) the cross that we are called to carry. As an old preacher once said, “If your cross isn’t held up with selfless love and covered with a little of your own sweat and blood, then it probably doesn’t represent what Jesus was advocating.” There are many books trying to explain why Christianity is declining numerically in the United States, but the idea few want to explore is the church’s failure to take up the cross and follow Jesus.
Prayer: With everything else happening in the world, it is hard to think about giving more away. Yet you, Merciful God, have shown the magnificent power of love when it is given away unconditionally and even recklessly. May your call to take up the cross be more than a slogan, but a starting place of a life lived for you. Amen.
SUNDAY MORNING WORSHIP
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