Sunday, July 9, 2017

take up your cross daily. July 9 ,2017

We continue in our series – Follow – with a dramatic exchange between Jesus and his disciples.

╬ “take up your cross daily”

In one of his most profound teachings on discipleship, Jesus asks those with him, “Who do people say that I am?”  They respond with the speculation – the “word on the street” – about this one who is creating such controversy.  But Jesus follows with an even more challenging question, one that rings in the air in our day and time: “Who do YOU say that I am?”  It is on this that everything else depends.  How we answer this question determines virtually everything else in the lives we lead.  Who will Jesus be for us?

Below are the Readings and the Prayer of the Day.

God’s blessings and peace to you all,

- Pr. Brad Highum

PRAYER OF THE DAY ----------------------------------

Lord, you call us to name you and proclaim you in the midst of our lives.  Help us to hold to the truth of you and to follow as you lead.  Help us to live your way in the world. Amen.

READINGS -------------------------------------------

First Reading:  2 Kings 23:1-3

23 Then the king directed that all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem should be gathered to him. 2 The king went up to the house of the Lord, and with him went all the people of Judah, all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests, the prophets, and all the people, both small and great; he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord. 3 The king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord, keeping his commandments, his decrees, and his statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. All the people joined in the covenant.

Psalm 61:1-5

1 Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.
2 From the end of the earth I call to you, when my heart is faint.  Lead me to the rock that is higher than I;
3 for you are my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.
4 Let me abide in your tent forever, find refuge under the shelter of your wings. 
5 For you, O God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who revere your name.

Second Reading:  Acts 5:17-21,2732

17 Then the high priest took action; he and all who were with him (that is, the sect of the Sadducees), being filled with jealousy, 18 arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors, brought them out, and said, 20 "Go, stand in the temple and tell the people the whole message about this life." 21 When they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and went on with their teaching.  When the high priest and those with him arrived, they called together the council and the whole body of the elders of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.  27 When they had brought them, they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, 28 saying, "We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man's blood on us." 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey God rather than any human authority. 30 The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him."

Gospel:  Luke 9:18-26

18 Once when Jesus was praying alone, with only the disciples near him, he asked them, "Who do the crowds say that I am?" 19 They answered, "John the Baptist; but others, Elijah; and still others, that one of the ancient prophets has arisen." 20 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered, "The Messiah of God."  21 He sternly ordered and commanded them not to tell anyone, 22 saying, "The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised." 23 Then he said to them all, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. 25 What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves?