Give up everything? “Hate” my family? Is this just Jesus’ way of using hyperbole to illustrate that God’s way is not of this world? Perhaps. But the stark image reminds us that discipleship is not a cakewalk. There are earthly sacrifices we will make as Christians. We may not suffer death and imprisonment for our beliefs, but we may be asked to explain what we believe or why we go to church, or be ridiculed for a stance we take. We will be in the minority when we say we are attending church on Sunday.
The invitation to write seven devotions for this publication was an honour and a challenge. I had to focus and commit to study, reflect and find words to illustrate my thoughts. Life shattering? Hardly, but on this tiniest scale of discipleship, I was reminded that every day Christ asks us to reflect his love and to react and live in his image.
We may think God wants a grand gesture to show our love, but when serving lunch at an inner city congregation, I was reminded that the “ministry of the pickles” was an honourable service. In other words, serving others is serving God.
Lord of all, every day we have opportunities to pick up your cross, follow you and serve others. Help us to find a way today to carry your cross. Amen. — SQ