Mark 8:31–38 (NRSV)
Verse 31Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. Verse 32He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. Verse 33But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things."
Verse 34He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. Verse 35For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. Verse 36For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Verse 37Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Verse 38Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."
“Ain’t I a woman?” These famous words, spoken by Sojourner Truth to the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in 1851, were packed with so much courage and truth. Where did this courage come from? It was eight years earlier, in 1843, when she heard the call of God on her life and exclaimed to her friends, “The Spirit calls me, and I must go.” She packed up her possessions in a pillowcase and hit the road, preaching about the abolition of slavery. She was willing to lose her life for the sake of God’s liberation because she knew that none would be free until and unless all were free. God is calling you to this same liberation project. Can you hear the call? Do you trust that one who has undergone great suffering has paved the way for abundant life on the other side of your fear? In the losing of one’s own attachment to self-preservation is where God’s salvation can truly be found.
God, you are calling us to freedom. Liberate us that we might be liberators.
You are calling us to compassion. Love us that we might be lovers.
You are calling us to generosity. Bless us that we might be blessers.
You are calling us to grace. Forgive us that we might be forgivers.
You are calling us to wholeness. Heal us that we might be healers.
God, you are calling us to freedom. May we hear your call. Amen.