“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
Happy Memorial Day! On the last Monday of each May, the United States celebrates all men and women who have died while serving in the US military. These men and women have given their lives to stand for something that is important to them, something they felt was worth fighting for.
“And he said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.'” (Luke 9:23-24)
What a perfect verse to meditate and pray over this morning as millions and millions of Christians gather virtually together in their homes (and possibly in places of worship) to worship together on Sunday. While the coronavirus may be putting a hamper on normal day-to-day activities, it should never put a hamper on our worship!
So what does it mean to take up your cross daily and follow Jesus? It may not mean what you think.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” (John 14:1)
It’s so easy (and natural) to let this physical world and the circumstances around us dictate our level of confidence and peace. The COVID-19 pandemic is a perfect example of this, as for many this novel coronavirus is planting seeds of fear, anxiety, and despair in our hearts.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)
Today many of us have a video doorbell system on our homes that alerts us whenever someone approaches our door. With the abundance of online deliveries these days, it’s becoming more and more common for a delivery person to approach, leave a package on our doorstep, and discreetly leave without ever having to engage with the home owner.
Unfortunately, there are many of us in the Christian church that want to subscribe to this model of “knock, leave it at my door, and I’ll come and get it at my own convenience”-type of faith, but it doesn’t work that way.
“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” (John 3:18)
If you were standing in a full-on burning building and the fireman who had intimate knowledge of the property and situation was directing you to the one, single way out, my hope is that you would be willing to follow the one who has come to rescue you and bring you to safety.
Whether you want to believe it or not, this world is on fire… but there is a way out.