Saturday, September 4, 2010

Choosing the Right Side (Mark 8:31-38), Part 5 – Conclusion

In conclusion, we can see the cross is a paradox. To the world, it stands as a symbol of death. However for Christians, it is a symbol of eternal life. We know that things like power, possessions and privileges, look like success to the world at large. However, they are actually failures in God’s eyes. This is because we know that no amount of earthly success will carry us into eternity. Further, we cannot carry our symbols of earthly success into heaven. As the text asks, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his own soul? What can a man give in exchange for his soul?” The answer to both questions is: nothing. Now Jesus is not telling us to give up everything. He is just telling us this world does not offer everything for a real life. Only He offers something worth striving for. Only He gives what is necessary for us to find life.

When we choose Jesus over the things of this world, we are not exchanging one form of slavery over another. In comparison, the cross of faith that we carry is light when compared to the yoke of sin we once bore. This is because Jesus himself grants us the grace to carry them. That is why we can choose to align ourselves to the Will of God. The Holy Spirit empowers us to do so, as we walk in faith. By the Holy Spirit, we can put on the right mindset and focus in the life choices we make. We will take up our cross, which is our Christian responsibilities, and see them for what they really are - the source of our freedom in Christ. When we take on the burden of charity, we are freed of the weight of greed. When we take on the burden of humility, we are freed from the weight of arrogance. When we take on the burden of mercy, we are freed from the weight of anger and guilt.

Let us pray that our Lord will make us bold in choosing the right side. That as we deny ourselves, the reality of his power and care will be visible to the people around us. Let us pray that he will help us to choose the right side.

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