“Take Up the Cross and Follow Me”

By Bob Brennan (Zionsville, Indiana)

Mark 8:31-34

New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Predicts His Death

31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.

33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

The Way of the Cross

34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

Bob Brennan brought the message discussing what it means to take up the cross.

• He asked whether we take up the cross because we have to/are supposed to or because we want to? 

• Do we do what we do out of duty or for show? 

• Or, do we do it because we truly believe in the worth of all persons and want to follow the example of Jesus? 

• Do we only take up our cross in ways that we are comfortable with? 

• Are we willing to do all that we need to do and what might that entail? 

Lots of questions and Bob did not claim to have all of the answers.  He asked that we open our hearts and minds to the leadings of the Holy Spirit and allow God to guide us.

What are your Answers? 

• Do you take up the cross because you have to or are supposed to OR is it because you want to?

• Do you do it in servitude or for glory?

• Do you truly believe in the worth of all persons and want to follow (and live out) the example of Jesus?

• Do you only take up your cross when you are comfortable?

• Are you willing to do what is needed and do what that might entail?

Do we live in accordance to Joshua (Joshua 24:15) “… But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Where is God leading you?

Are you fully awake and ready to respond?

Are you ready to share the love and peace of Jesus?

Creator God – Thank You for the blessings of this day.  As we gathered in worship, we sensed Your Spirit among us, drawing us to You and to each other.  We thank You for the example of Your Son Jesus, who showed us how to live and to love each other and You.  We pray for open hearts, open minds and courage to go where Your Spirit directs.  May we always remember that same Spirit goes before us as we journey out in faith, preparing the way.  May our love for You be visible through our actions to all we encounter.  This we pray in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ.  Amen.