Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.
I like what I like. Also, I want what I want. It seems a natural tendency to be this way. As human beings, we naturally tend to focus on self. We make sure that we are taken care of. We make choices that ensure we ourselves are cared for. We look out for number one. This is normal. This is how we are “wired.”
Yet as Christians, we are called to transcend what is natural. In fact, as Christians we are given the Holy Spirit in order that we may even be able to transcend what is natural. The fact is, without the power and guidance of God, we are completely unable to act against our nature. It is only by the transforming power of God that we are equipped to act and live in ways that are contrary to human nature. It is only through our faith in the risen Christ that we can ever hope to be what God intends us to be.
It has been said that being a Christian is simultaneously the easiest life and the most difficult life. It is “easy” because of the great hope and promise that we have—this life is not the end! It is difficult because we often face so many obstacles, not the least of which is our own nature. Today we celebrate our great Savior, Jesus Christ, who has provided a way for us to rise above that nature in order that we be able to be close to him. Today we celebrate