"Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me."
What does this look like on our 21st century winter Friday? Jesus calls us to follow him, not merely believe in him. These are two completely different actions. Believing in Jesus just means you accept that he existed. You may even acknowledge that he died for you and he is your Lord-and-Savior. Relatively easy compare to being a follower of Jesus. That's where the rubber means the road and it's much, much harder. If we are truly followers of Jesus we do what Jesus did. Jesus forgave people who were condemned in his culture. Jesus washed the feet of his friends AND those he knew would later do him harm. Jesus mingled with those he wasn't supposed to mingle with and made positive examples of foreigners and those cast out by his culture. Jesus welcomed strangers, ate with them and healed them. And how difficult in our day to do even one of these! I received a letter from one of our state senators, responding to my letter of disagreement with the Administration's recent travel ban and immigration policy. While I applauded the senator for responding (no one else did), I disagreed with his comment that the most important thing is to protect our country. No, sir, respectfully, the most important thing we are to do is follow Jesus. And that means denying oneself, welcoming and compassionately caring for the stranger. For the complete list for how to be a follower of Jesus read Matthew 25:31-40. It's a sobering list and we can only do it with Jesus' help! Love, heidi