image by Omar Delawer
Then Jesus said to them, “If any want to become my disciples, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it.”
Balance. My interpretation of this passage was always that if I wanted to follow Jesus then anything that I wanted to do must die so that I could be reborn more and more like Jesus everyday. I still think a part of this is true. I read this statement as a way of reorienting my life with God’s Dream for the world directing each and every step. In this way, I am denying myself the spot of executive director of my life in order to partner with God, wrestle with God, and plot goodness for all of God’s creation.
But a new idea struck me this morning…..we, as Christians, say that we die to ourselves daily so that we might be reborn into the image of Christ. What if this denying self or dying to self also means that we have to go to the places where part of our self has died? What if to truly be “born again” God calls us to go to the depths of our greatest hurts in order to experience God saving us from the power of that hurt? What if we have to face those “deaths” of self in order to thrive as a child of God? I wonder if that is part of what Jesus meant when he said, “Take up your cross and follow me.”
As we head to the Cross, what disappointments, hurts, wounds do you need to face in order to experience rebirth?