The continuous lessons 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. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Mark 8:34-36, NIV)

I can remember a seminary professor saying, “You don’t need to go looking for a cross. One has been readily provided.”

Lord, too often my aversion to the cross steers me away from the glory of your resurrection. Keep me in the shadow of your cross and may its daily work have an ever deepening impact on my life. Amen.

Prayers of the Day

Collect of the Day: The Annunication

Pour your grace into our hearts, O Lord; that we who have known the incarnation of your Son Jesus Christ, announced by an angel to the Virgin Mary, may by his cross and passion be brought unto the glory of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.F

A Collect for Peace

O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The blessedness of being pursued by God

Psalm 23:6 (NIV): Surely your goodness and love will follow me

all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

forever.

The Common English Bible is the only one I’ve read that says, goodness and faithful love will pursue me…

God will chase me down, grab me, and hold me (Walter Brueggemann).

Brueggemann then says this: “Lent is a time to quit running, to let ourselves be caught and embraced in love, like a sheep with safe pasture, like a traveler offered rich and unexpected food.”

Allow God to pursue you in this season. Desire one thing: his presence.