Have you ever seen a wooden cross carved with vines and flowers? Pretty as they can be, it is odd to see an instrument of death blooming and bursting with life and fruit and flowers. But that is what the Cross is. It’s not just a juxtaposition of death and life, but death leading to life, an end making way for a beginning.
In today’s Gospel Jesus is laying out the cost of the Christian life. He doesn’t get into the details, but He does make the bigger picture clear: He comes first. We are asked to love Him above all else, even our own lives.
“Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:27).
I am weak. I know that I sink into comforts and habits that make it easy for me to make excuses for myself. But He is calling me to more than that. He is calling me to death. When I cling to the cross and wrap my weaknesses around it, I pray that they die with Him. I need Him to gently loosen my grip, get it out of my way, so I can receive His. I pray that He takes my broken sinfulness and pulls life from it.
What is your cross? Can you unite it with His? What needs to die so new life can spring forth?
Jacqueline Skemp is a daughter, sister, wife, and mother who endures living in Minnesota after leaving California for her one true love. You can find out more about her here.