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."
You ruined “my life.”
I had power and privilege.
I had beauty and blessing.
You called me to leave it behind.
It was terrifying.
You told me to come and die.
How scary is that proposition?
I tiptoed forward and then retreated.
I inched toward it, and then backed away.
You challenged me with a gracious invitation.
I let go. And then grasped for control again.
You told me that loss was the only real gain.
“Couldn’t there be another way?” I wondered.
But you continued inviting.
I finally gave up “my life” that I had built for myself.
I let go like you asked.
And you completely ruined “my life.”
In these ruins were where true life was found.
And it was glorious!
Jesus, ruin “our lives” so that we may discover new life in you.
Destroy our temporary false security with your eternal safety.
Shatter our ego’s desires with the desire to serve you alone.
Ruin our fear with your courage
And rebuild our hearts of hate with your love and endless compassion. Amen.