Take up your __________ and follow me.


At last year’s Seagull Century Bicycle ride,

cruising along the flats of the Eastern Shore,

I rounded a corner and almost ran into a cyclist

and the wagon that trailed behind him.

In his wagon he had a Cross, a very large one,

with a flag draped over it. The Cross must have been

8 feet high. A heavy load, indeed,

to pull for 100 miles.

I don’t think that this is was Jesus was talking about.

Although self-denial and cross-bearing

describe what it means to follow Jesus,

we don’t need to be masochistic about it;

life is hard enough as is….

In short, “bearing our cross” is not

about dealing with some normal suffering

or problem or part of human existence.

That happens to everyone, every day.

Following Jesus means to set

aside your own interests

in order to ascertain

and pursue God’s interests.

It’s always a gift to remember

that even while we heed the call to pick up our cross,

Jesus already died on one in our behalf.

Jesus 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.”                                                                            Mark 8: 34


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