April 10th Lenten Devotional

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John W Stevens

Mark 15:16-39

When are we forced to carry the cross when we don’t feel ready or we have no desire?

Simon of Cyrene, a passerby, is “compelled” to carry the cross that was meant for Jesus. In other words, Roman soldiers forced Simon to carry this cross, whether he was ready or not.

When are we forced to carry the cross when we don’t feel ready or we have no desire?

Sitting around the table at coffee hour, after church, as we were known to do, talking about all kinds of problems that were facing our town, words were thrown out like, “those people.” You know, “those people,” who have already compelled an image to be placed in your mind and heart. Was I being compelled or just asked to carry the cross that belongs to Jesus?

When are we forced to carry the cross when we don’t feel ready or we have no desire?

Every single day. We are forced to carry the cross of Jesus. Perhaps, if I am lucky, I have a desire to reach out. Perhaps if I am lucky, I might feel a bit ready. But most of the times, I do not.

Here is the Good News. On this side of the empty tomb, we are not alone when we carry the cross. It is Jesus Christ who carries the cross with us. We will stumble. We will struggle with our desire. But Jesus compels us, as his followers in this world to pick up the cross. As so we do. Knowing that Jesus walks with us.

Prayer: Jesus, carrying the cross is scary work. Help me. Amen.

John W. Stevens is pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, located in Oregon City, Oregon. He enjoys coffee, sleight of hand magic, and Jesus.

©2020 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group.  This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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