By Beverly Zink-Sawyer
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Extra resources for Abingdon Women's Preaching Annual: Series 3 Year B (Abingdon Women's Preaching Annual)
His face shone like the sun. He looked like a flash of lightning. Then Elijah and Moses appeared with Jesus, one on his right and one on his left. They stood with Jesus in that crackling circle of light. The wind blew and a cloud of light overshadowed them all. ” The disciples were so overcome with fear, they fell face down on the ground. When they opened their eyes, they were alone. As they climbed down the mountain, Jesus ordered them to tell no one what they had seen. Later, as they made their way to Jerusalem, Jesus told them two more times that he would be rejected, suffer, and die.
The truth of the matter is this: believing in Jesus is not a recipe for an easy life. When we believe in Jesus, we buy into Jesus’ way of life. He didn’t just talk about self-giving love he lived it. Selfless love can get you in a lot of trouble. Eula Hall is not a doctor or a lawyer or a government official. She is a woman who grew up in rural poverty. She has been threatened and discouraged, but she never gave up. Not long ago I listened to this remarkable woman tell about her life. More than thirty years ago Eula decided that rather than just being depressed about the terrible health conditions of the people in her home area, she would do something about it.
But this is not what Jesus is saying! Jesus is not demanding that we add burdens to ourselves. In fact, when Jesus invites us to take up our cross, he is telling us to unburden ourselves. ” One way that I can take up my cross for Christ is to leave all of my concerns for myself behind. I can stop focusing my attention on my mistakes, my failures, my desires, or my wants. The cross directs my attention outside of myself. When I take up the cross, I am free to carry the hope and love of Christ. This is Christ’s gift of the cross.
Abingdon Women's Preaching Annual: Series 3 Year B (Abingdon Women's Preaching Annual) by Beverly Zink-Sawyer