“If anyone would come after me, they must deny themselves and take up their crosses and follow me.”
The cross that we are called to carry each and every day is to deny our opinions, our own self, and even our friends, in order to care for the children of God that others judge and cast out. It is not being the kind of martyr killed by Roman authorities for speaking about Christ. It is not about going from door to door as the evangelist and Apostles did. It is about choosing daily to love as God loves, to care for the strangers, the so called “welfare bums” convicts and all those seen as undesirables. It requires loving all these peoples as we love our coffee or tea buddies, card partners, traveling companions, even ourselves. It is risking the disapproval of our friends because we won’t join in their judgment and condemnation, but instead seek to bless those criticized. It involves knowing, that we will have to change, forget what is easiest for us and choose to do what is the good, true, and loving things.
Let us be like Christ and deny ourselves, take up our crosses and follow in the path of God, that leads to resurrection and eternal life, as well as wholeness and equal justice and love for all of God’s good creation. Amen?