Are you willing to see a death-and-resurrection Messiah? Are you willing to follow a Messiah who says, “Deny yourself! Take up your cross and follow me”? (Luke 9:23).
Not long ago, I visited friends. On Sunday, we went to their church to worship. It was all very positive. The sermon was on kindness. There was no cross in the chancel—and nothing about the cross in the service. Afterwards, I asked my friend if the pastor ever talked about the cross of Christ-—of his death and resurrection—of his call to his disciples to take up their cross and follow him. My friend said that he didn’t think it likely that the pastor would mention those things in a worship service. In that church, it’s all about kindness—and joy—and happiness. Those aren’t bad things, but they are not the core of the Christian Gospel. The cross is at the center of the Christian Gospel. But those folks did not want to see a cross. They were blind to the cross of Christ.
That isn’t unusual these days. Jesus called us to give, but some churches talk only about what we can get. It’s called the Prosperity Gospel. It’s very positive, but it is NOT the Christian Gospel. Lots of people deliberately put on blinders when it comes to the cross of Christ—and when it comes to the Messiah who says, “Deny yourself! Take up your cross and follow me!”
St. Luke’s family, what about you? Are you willing to hear the Messiah who says, “Deny yourself! Take up your cross and follow me!”