“As the time approached for Him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:51)
There was an article a while back about a professional athlete who resolved to imitate his toddler, just to see if he could keep up. Turns out his child wore him out well before sunset! If we’re honest, imitating Jesus wears us out too, even before we get started. If you don’t believe this, try following the Sermon on the Mount, and count up the times you fell short – before lunch.
Perhaps this has caused us to be more focused on an intellectual faith, as we rally around our statements of faith, creeds, doctrine and theology and happily pronounce who’s in and who’s out. This is while we de-emphasize what it means to truly follow Jesus, especially to Jerusalem.
The most perfect demonstration of God’s love for us is Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. We, too, are called to take up our cross and follow Jesus. In cultures that prize individualism, sacrifice isn’t well understood. Sacrifice can mean laying down our rights to yield to others or foregoing possession or enjoyment of something. We do this from a place of freedom, versus coercion or pride.
This Lent, how can you take up the spiritual discipline of sacrifice? Does the Facebook world really need one more opinion on a controversy? Can you eat out less and give money to the hungry? Are there parts of Scripture you’re conveniently ignoring? Do you really need the last word in a relationship? Are there acts of service that could be done without fanfare? Is there someone on the margins who could use a friend?
Prayer of Response:
“God bless you all on your journeys to Jerusalem! Amen!”
—Submitted by Libby Rutherford