Saturday, March 3, 2012

Jesus invites us to take up the cross

Jesus invites us to take up the cross  

It is when I am not sure that I feel God the most, said my friend.

It is when the path is darkest that I’m sure the light is there.

It is when I let go that I receive.

It is when I stop guarding myself from God, when I start trusting God, when I step out in faith, into the night, that I find my way.

That I find – his way.

It is not really my way at all; it is his.

If you would follow me, you must deny your self – your life, your inmost being; you must take up your cross and prepare to die with me; you must follow me.

But! You are the Messiah. What is going on here? 

It is necessary…

Is it? 

Get behind me, Tempter! For your thoughts are not God’s thoughts nor your ways God’s way: if you try to preserve your self you will lose your self, if you lose your self, you will gain life.

It is when I am not sure that I feel God the most. 

It is when I let go and trust, 
when there is nothing to turn to, 
and no light on the way, 
that I know I am homeward bound.

There is a breath in the midst of the darkness, 
in the absence a pregnant pause:  he is listening; 
the world is listening, it knows he is coming.

It is when I find no purpose inside myself, 
and no hidden inner resource, 
that I am most thrown back upon God, who is faithful. 

When the promise is impossible, then it is kept.

When I no longer try to keep it to myself, I fully receive it.

I am most receptive to God’s leading, when I am least sure of my own.

When I am not sure where to go, what to do, where he wants me to go, what he wants me to do, 
it is then that I feel God the most.

It is when he is absent that I know he is here. 

It is when I give up my self, preserving my own life, my way, 
that I find my way, gain my life, and receive my self.

(When I am most fully myself is when I am least full of myself!)

When I chose this passage from Genesis 17 for an ordination anniversary Eucharist, last summer, I was remembering the promise: I will make you ancestor of a multitude – of many who receive the blessing, who share in the faith; who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.  

Abram and Sarai are newly called in to covenant as parents of the promise, as parents of the faithful. They are faith-parents to faith-children; those who live in faith all are their descendants.

Our children are children of faith,
Our legacy is a legacy of hope,
Our mission is a mission of love.

The mission is the message: faith and trust and hope abide; and end in love, as they began – in Christ, in the bearing of the cross, love’s redeeming work is done.

Jesus invites us to take up the cross.
Second Sunday in Lent * March 4, 2012 
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16 
Psalm 22:22-30
Romans 4:13-25
Mark 8:31-38

Jesus invites us to become his true disciples: to take up the cross and follow him

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