Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Today’s text

Mark 8:34-35

He [Jesus] called the people and his disciples to him and said, 'If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. Anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.


This is not a terrible message. There is no dread here, but hope; however painful moments of loss, fear and change are for us.

No one wants to lose his life, the people and places to which we are most attached. We hold onto to things as they are, fearing the pain of letting go and entering a future we do not control.

The invitation of Jesus amid all such times is to trust, to trust more than we do, more than we believe we are capable of trusting. Trust and know.

Times of change and loss, of anxiety and uncertainty erode our ability to release our death-grip on what we have and all we think we need.

But every moment of life, and certainly our difficult moments, comes with the invitation to trust that every future lies in the hands of that Love that doesn’t let go of us, a Love who delights to bring resurrection, new life beyond the one to which we clutch.

“Let go, lose the life you have and trust me,” Jesus says. “Trust the divine Father who holds you and always will. That One opens doors you do not even see. But wait, you will.”

I remember meditating upon Jesus resurrection story in the Gospel of Mark several years ago. I imagined the scene in my mind’s eye for several days running, each day writing what I had seen.

Returning to those words now, I find great hope in Jesus words about losing my life for his sake. “Let go,” he says, “let go of all you think you need, all that you fear losing; trust, the way of the Spirit is the way of losing and finding, of dieing and rising.”

It is the way of letting go and letting God bring to my soul that which I need to live and breathe, love and know the Love for which my soul will always hunger--until the day I am fully enveloped in the Great Soul and my lifetime longing finds fulfillment that does not fade.

The image of resurrection which appeared in my long-ago meditations were of waves on the sea. Again and again, they lifted me, tossing me about, high and low then lifting again, joyously rolling me about until I laughed in sheer abandonment.

Drenched through, I was, with the awareness that nothing and no part of me is separated from the resurrected love of Jesus.

Soaked to the soul, I knew every moment is held, that I am held, in an eternal, all encompassing, restlessly joyous embrace.

Knowing this, there is no need to grasp the moment as if I must secure my future and its happiness. For Life awaits me on every hand, no matter what comes. Love will be there to fill the soul with tears, not of loss, but of unexpected joy.

That’s the promise of Jesus gospel. Trust and know. Always.

This is the only way to peace in a world where nothing is predictable and no future is controllable.

So we take up the cross of our lives, doing that which the Spirit has given us to do, giving up what is, what has been, what we now are, for what shall come, always knowing Life will come, and Love will fill our hearts.

Pr. David L. Miller

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