Being a Passionate Christ Follower
We’ve been working on a new vision statement for our church. The words “Passionate Disciple” or “Passionate Christ-Follower” have been suggested to describe who we are to be. The word passionate could be used to describe football fans for various teams. They show up rain or shine, cold or hot, win or lose to cheer on their team. If they don’t attend the games, they make sure they are at a place to watch and listen to the game. And during the week, they talk about their team. But would you say you are a passionate Christ-Follower?
In the Gospel of Mark, the crowds who were showing up to hear Jesus teach and experience His miracles were growing. He knew that many of them were simply “fair weather fans.” Mark says; “Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.’” (Mark 8:34-35)
The fact that Jesus spoke these words to the crowd, not simply the 12 Disciples, tells us this was a call to all who wanted to follow Him. The challenge to deny oneself, take up their cross, and follow Jesus was not simply for the first 12 disciples. It was Christ’s call to all who would be his followers. But I’m not sure we see it that way today.
J.D. Walt wrote on this passage from Mark in a recent Seedbed Daily Text. His reflection on this passage provides us with a challenge about our discipleship:
So let me ask you this question: Are you a passionate Christ Follower? If not, what is holding you back? According to Jesus, it is in losing our lives for His sake that we find life. - Rudy
Your responses to these Reflections are always welcomed. You can email me at <firstname.lastname@example.org.>