Even to the Cross

Gracious and loving God, the cross frightens us. You invite us to take up our cross and to follow you, to participate in your suffering so that we might experience your resurrection. You call us to sacrifice and to solidarity with the lowest people in the most uncomfortable and dangerous places. As you have met us in our darkness, you have commissioned us to meet others in their darkness and to live a life of love rather than a life of comfort and safety. You've call us outside ourselves and we know that the cross is where all of this is headed. Yes, to the cross and yes, to the resurrection.

But we prefer safety. We prefer comfort. We prefer people who are like us. We prefer systems of government that meet our wants and needs. We prefer our own language. We prefer our air conditioning. We prefer the illusion of certainty. We prefer to be right. We prefer our skin tone. We prefer our styles of clothing. We prefer our religion. We prefer to stay clean and well. We'd rather avoid danger and steer clear of discomfort. Why suffer for serving you when we can reap the benefits of your love without lifting a finger?

But we will reap what we sow. If we do not like the cross, how will we be raised with the crucified? What good is the knowledge of love if we refuse to embrace it, experience it, and share it? No! We cannot be saved apart from you and it is only by your blood that we are saved. Stir in us a desire for more than just a future promise. Stir in us here and now a desire to go where you go and weep where you weep and bleed for the ones for whom you bleed so that we may share in joy of the redeemed, so that we can meet you in your distressing disguises today. Let love lead us where love would have us go... even to the cross. We pray in the name of our crucified lover... may we get to know him. Amen.