Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gospel Text for Sunday, 4 March 2012

Mark 8:31-38 Then Jesus began to teach his disciples that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things."

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."

1 comment:

  1. Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem, on his way to suffering, death and resurrection. Not surprising, his good friend Peter wanted Jesus to skip over the suffering and death parts and move right on to glory. Many of us, with me at the front of the line, want to parachute over the dark hours of Lent and Holy Week and leap straight to Easter. We refuse to consent to the notion that suffering happens, even to good people, even to God. After all, we call ourselves an Easter people. The trouble is, the only way to Easter is through Lent and Holy Week.

    Jesus couldn’t be more clear. If you want to follow me, pick up your cross. Life is not an untaxed jaunt with seven sure steps for living in prosperity. Suffering and loss are part of every life, even suffering to death. You may try to bury your cross, turn away from your cross or paint it with neon glitter. None the less you have a cross to carry and if you want to get to Easter you’re going to have to pick it up.

    At least once a day, if not once an hour, I find myself like Peter setting my “mind not on divine things but on human things.” I strive for my own comfort, my personal satisfaction or gain. I am concerned with how people will perceive me and if I will succeed. All human things, not divine. So what if I am comfortable, satisfied, well regarded and successful? What good will all that do me if I am not on my way with Jesus?

    Jesus’ way is the way of the servant leader, the one who washes and kisses the feet of his brothers and sisters, and leads them to new life. Jesus’ friend and disciple Mary knew that when she washed his feet with her tears. The adventure of life is the way of the cross. Our serving and suffering and tears are tolerable because we know Jesus is with us every step of the way.

    To read about servant leadership (something I hope our elected officials will consider) check out