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‘Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.’ –Matthew 16:24
For Children: Share this short video lesson about giving every day to God.
For Adults: It doesn’t take a genius or guru to recognize that life is hard. But it does take a wise person to know the difference between responsibly shouldering your burdens and doing your best to duck out of them. I know a man who abandoned wife and children, quit working, and devoted himself to drinking as a means of escaping the hard realities of life. At the end of his days, he admitted it didn’t work. Sorrow had dogged his steps every hour along the way, and he’d never been free of suffering, as he had wished.
It’s hard to love a cross. It’s unhealthy, in fact, to be in love with our pain. But we do have to make peace with what’s ours to carry. Our loved ones have needs we can’t meet. There are things money can’t buy. We face disappointments, betrayals, and crises thrown on the heap of our present troubles that often feel like the last straw that will bring our forbearance crashing down. To deny the hour of sacrifice and suffering is to risk being “Satan,” the liar and denier of Jesus. The cross is where we learn the true cost of love.
Who taught you the most about responsibly bearing a burden?
LET US PRAY… Lord of our journeys, you walk with us in seasons of darkness and light, even through the valley of the shadow of death. Send your Spirit to guide us so that we can be closer companions to your will, always attentive to the sound of your voice in our days. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Image credit: M.MIGLIORATO/CPP/CIRIC