“For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.” – Mark 8:35
During the season of Lent, we commit ourselves to remembering and walking with Jesus in his final days and weeks toward what would be the most sacrificial act of love in history. In our text this week, we hear Peter’s misunderstanding (which echoes our own) of the priorities of love, and how sometimes the way of love calls us outside of what feels comfortable or reasonable to be present and vulnerable to our community. Lately, I’ve been reading some push-back to the self-care industry, that suggests we cannot bath-bomb our way into more stabilized mental and emotional well-being. Industries have capitalized upon our recognition that we are not machines built to be endlessly productive and ever more efficient, and have begun to sell us what they suggest we need to love ourselves better. But critics are responding to this movement, suggesting that more than self-care, our hearts and minds and bodies are in need of community care. We need the loving support of friends. We need time to watch our children play with others in the neighborhood. We need our aging parents to feel connected to their friends and congregation. We need to know we matter to one another. But community care isn’t something we can manufacture and sell. And worse, it is something we cannot attain without some investment of our own; without putting in some work; without choosing to make the relationships our priority versus just our own needs. In the passage for this week, we’ll hear Jesus call us to deny ourselves to follow him, and to lose our life in order to gain it. I anticipate that we will need to think more critically about what we mean and hope for when we think about our “life” and what work—what sacrifice—we are also called to offer for the sake of love.I hope you’ll join us in discussion following worship on Sunday morning, or on Wednesday evening at 6:30pm to continue the conversation and deepen our commitment to follow Christ in love.
See you Sunday,