MARK 8:31-38

8:31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 

32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 

33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things." 

34 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 

35 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 

36 For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 

37 Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? 

38 Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."

March 1, 2021I am not a runner. I never was a runner, except in sports when I had to run from one end of the court to the other many times. To train for such activity, I had to train. I had to run a lot and I also had to do other exercises to be sure that all my muscles were working well. Now in my later years, I am still being told to exercise all of my muscles to be sure that I am balanced. That is what it means to cross-train. You are training to have the capacity to use more than one muscle.

In the scripture this past Sunday, Jesus invites us to a challenging exercise of how we will lose our whole lives in order to save it. He did not suggest that we might consider losing part of our lives, like the part that pay’s attention to God once a week. Jesus suggests that we might consider making sure that our whole life be ready to give, serve, even suffer for the love of Christ. 

To be a part of the body of Christ, to be on Jesus’ team, means having all our spiritual muscles in shape in case we are called into the “game”. Are we ready? What spiritual muscles do we need to exercise to be in this Lenten cross-training program? Bible Study? Devotions? Hospitality? Worship? Service? Generosity? Prayer? Faith Formation?

These are some of the spiritual muscles that we can exercise. You could probably think of more. 

As you consider how you will take up your CROSS TRAINING this Lent, may you find a spiritual exercise buddy or two to keep you going, even when it seems hard. 

If you cannot think of one, consider Pete or me. We need the exercise too!

Rev. Sue