As I work on my upcoming sermon, so many thoughts are going through my head about what a church that follows the wisdom of the cross looks like. What is the wisdom of the cross? Christ commanded his followers to deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow him? Is this the message we are preaching in churches?
Somehow I think we leave this part out of our new member recruitment and baptismal training. Do we train people to view the world with the lens of the cross after they come up out of the waters of baptism or are we happy enough with their eternal assurance that we forget to remind them they are new creations and are to live like it? Rather than always trying to gain people by talking of how God blesses and gives good things, we have to remember that Jesus preached an of an upside down logic that demanded suffering and persecution for the sake of His name. We have to remind people that the path is difficult. We, who grow up with the American dream, must be reminded that we are not a part of the world who seeks to be successful in salaries and toys, rather we are successful when we die to ourselves and are crucified daily.
How are our churches being crucified daily? Are we trying to seek power in society by legislating morality and supporting political candidates that will force non-Christians to live the way we think they should or are we accepting our fleeting role in society and moving to the margins happy to live in the place God has always wanted us to be. We can't keep seeking power as churches, we must die to ourselves and reach the hurting and sick. Christ didn't try to regain his dignity when he was on the cross by coming off and slaughtering his opponents, rather he died to himself and knew that God would raise him in a short time. We, as people and churches, must do the same. Let us die today in the hope that God will raise us soon.