Take up your cross
Sunday, 26 September 2009
Peter comes face to face with reality; he is clearly distressed at the way in which Jesus talks about his death. If Jesus is truly the Messiah, then good things should be happening; not bad ones. Peter catches a glimpse of the kind of Messiah Jesus is to be, and he protests. His protest represents our very human reaction to some of the harsh realities of life like death. We often try and work things out in a logical kind of way and that is often, so very different to God’s view on things. Following Jesus and denying ourselves doesn’t mean giving up our humanness but it is an invitation to look at our lives and discovering that which hinders our relationship with God and learning to let that go!
It means not clinging to our human desires at the expense of seeking to know what God desires for our lives. It means finding that path which will best enable us to follow the Christ in our daily living. The cross that Christ invites us to take up involves the ordinary daily routine of living where the human and the divine meet in fullness.
Where might that crossing be for you? Have you found a way, a path, and a practice that frees you to find the divine in the daily life of being human?
The passage in Mark 8:27-38, is inviting us to refocus and reorient ourselves amid the daily struggles and challenges of life, so that we may experience the divine Presence.
St Benedict of Nursia (480-547) understood this tension and developed a “Rule of life” for all his monks. He linked the daily tasks of the monastery with what he called the divine work which centered around the daily office of worship and prayer. St Benedict developed a very simple and helpful Rule which enabled ones attention and focus to be on divine things, and to notice the Presence of God in the midst of human things, to which we must give our attention.
As we respond to this daily call to follow as true disciples we immerse ourselves in the daily practice of work and prayer. This call invites us to sink deeper into the mystery of God’s grace, so as to be able to deny self and take up our cross.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer , 20th Century – “ Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ”