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(This is from the weekly pastor’s page in our church bulletin)

What does God require of us?

In a conversation with his disciples Jesus says, “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me;  and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;  and whoever does not  take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me;  Those who find their life will lost it, and those who lose their life will find it.” (Matthew 10:37).

That sounds harsh, doesn’t it?  It is important to note that Jesus was trying to make a powerful point.  First of all Jesus, does not want you to hate your parents or children.  That is obvious.  But He needed to make a strong point.  That point being that following Him(Jesus) would not always be easy and that it would sometimes cause us to sacrifice – Sacrifice the very things that makes us who we are and the comforts of this life.  This is evident because Jesus says, “take up the cross” for Jesus the cross was the ultimate act of sacrifice.  He wanted us to live our lives as a living sacrifice, always serving others. That is what it means to take up your cross.

Sacrifice is not just about dying a physical death.  Sacrifice is about putting to death selfishness.  Jesus was selfless, which is the opposite of selfish.  Jesus kept emptying himself daily of anything he felt was owed to him.  He lived his life as though it was a gift.  Perhaps that is how we must strive to live our lives.  As a gift from God, and as a gift to other.   Life is where we get to show the world that God is alive and moving in this world.  We are after all the Body of Christ.