And Jesus said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?"
Luke 9:23–25, ESV
What does it mean to take up one’s cross? We all have struggles in our lives. Things that cause us pain and create suffering in our daily living. It may be uncomfortable to walk out our Christian faith. Yet we are not given a pass that allows us to live as a Christian one day and not the next. We are meant to walk our faith out with integrity. We don’t live in multiple truths and can be different people with the different groups that we interact with regularly. As followers of Christ, we are called to consistently stand for the Word and live in the faith of our Lord. Our God is an unchanging God, and this is who we are meant to reflect. God isn’t on a spectrum, and neither are we to live on a spectrum. Our place is meant to be firmly rooted in Jesus Christ, and we are to be mindful always of the Cross. The Cross Jesus bore for us is ever present as a reminder of the sacrifice He made for us once and for all that has removed sin and freed us from the bondage of death. This is the truth for which we are called to lay down our lives. The risk may be greater in this life, but the payout is eternal. It can be hard for many of us who have never known the threat that our faith can pose on our physical lives that some have faced and continue to face in other parts of the world. Yet, this is the reality on which we stand and the faith that we are called on which to hold fast. It is who we are. As we walk out our faith we are called to carry our burdens to the Lord and let them be nailed upon the Cross on which we let the old Adam die, that the new may be raised to new life.
Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me. Amen.