Carry the Cross
Scott Murphy, First Presidency
Now large crowds were traveling with him; and he turned and said to them, “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. -Luke 14:25-27
It’s easy to read this scripture and feel annoyed by Jesus’ comments which seem absent of any essence of love. But it is actually a deep love for all of God’s creation that is behind Jesus’ exaggerated statements. These disrupting statements push us to recognize that authentic discipleship requires a cost from our lives.
A common expression used today, “This is my cross to bear,” is a metaphor for the burdens we carry. But for Jesus, his cross was not a metaphor. It was the reality and consequence to live the real presence and love of God’s kingdom on earth that was birthing a new condition of life.
In December 2016, I traveled to Nigeria to celebrate fifty years of Community of Christ in that nation. I was impacted by the stories of extreme sacrifice of body and health and time away from family by missionaries who came to be present with the people. But despite all these risks, these committed disciples shared the good news of Christ and the church for the welfare of others. Today, lives are enriched in Nigeria and in 59 different nations who celebrate being part of Community of Christ.
To sacrifice for the welfare of another is a profound blessing that cannot be easily described in words. Maybe that is what Jesus is trying to help us understand; it is only when we sacrifice to pick up a cross for the welfare of another that we open our lives to this amazing new reality of what living God’s kingdom on earth really feels like.
There are lives waiting for someone to care enough to suffer with them. Are you willing to carry a cross with Jesus today for the sake of another? Try it, and discover the new life and joy that awaits you.
This month we are celebrating 70 years of Daily Bread. Each day we will be sharing Daily Bread stories from throughout the decades. You will notice that these stories reflect the language and theology of the time they were written. Our hope is that this act of sacred remembering will bless us with awareness of God’s movement throughout time and a renewed sense of God’s presence with us now! Consider joining this rich tradition of sacred story sharing by submitting your story here: https://www.CofChrist.org/daily-bread-writers-guide
The Spirit is revealed in our sacred stories.
Sharing sacred story is a meaningful way to express and remember God’s activity among us. How have you been transformed by the words and stories of others? What stories do you feel called to share from your own sacred history?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.