We must bear our cross….an powerful observation….

English: Charente Christian Cross

English: Charente Christian Cross (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

23  And he said to them all, “If you want to come with me, you must forget yourself, take up your cross every day, and follow me. 24  For if you want to save your own life, you will lose it, but if you lose your life for my sake, you will save it. 25  Will you gain anything if you win the whole world but are yourself lost or defeated? Of course not!  Luke 9:23-25 (TEV) 

“Whenever you see a poor, wooden cross, alone, uncared-for, worthless … and without a corpus, don’t forget that that cross is your cross—the everyday hidden cross, unattractive and unconsoling—the cross that is waiting for the corpus it lacks: and that corpus must be you.” (1)

I thought about not writing this blog, but then my friend MikeR brought to mind a old Amy Grant song “fat baby”…. and another friend – a missionary couple who will go to a very challenging place, at great sacrifice quoted a passage that is similar, and earlier today another missionary, a young lady in another torn country, asked for prayer because of the situation there….

And I thought…why are we so unwilling here, to make sacrifices of our own lives.

For instance, why are we so unwlling to avoid our favorite sins, and why do we feed our favorite worries and anxieties, rather than take Christ up on His promise to cleanse us all it all?  When we commit sins, why are we so…. challenged to confess them?  We know He will be faithful to confess them… right?
Why are we so unwilling to give up what we have… even things we don’t need…. to others.. to help them?  Why do we dislike it when the rich get richer (than us) but then the government takes from all to help those who have none?

Or why are we so unwilling to risk embarrassment and share God’s love with people, or invite them to church where they can hear it, with us able to watch God work a miracle in their lives?  Or sacrifice something financially to underwrite a missionary?

I like St. Josemaria’s thoughts here – about a cross that is not a crucifix.   Would we look at plain crosses, not just reminded us of Christ’s cross – but as reminders that we need to take up that cross as well?  That we need to remember we have died with Christ, we have died.  As Paul says….

19  So far as the Law is concerned, however, I am dead—killed by the Law itself—in order that I might live for God. I have been put to death with Christ on his cross, 20  so that it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. This life that I live now, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave his life for me. Galatians 2:19-20 (TEV) 

This is challenging to many of us this day, who are so focused on Christ’s work in justifying us.  We forget that our being united with Christ’s death, and with His resurrection, and that we have the hope of sharing in His glory – because He lives in us…

And that changes everything.

So let us see crosses – and remember that Christ has asked us to take up the cross – with Him… and serve those who need to know Jesus died for them.  Whatever that takes, whatever the cost….

Lord Have mercy on us..

Escriva, Josemaria (2010-11-02). The Way (Kindle Locations 539-541). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God’s saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on June 15, 2013, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

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