Life Notes—September 10, 2009
“…If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For 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.” Mark 8:34-35
Whoa there! Someone needs a media consultant! I have had the opportunity to receive training in framing a message for the media and this passage, along with the ones preceding it, breaks about every principle of good media management I was ever taught. Of course the message needs to be truthful, but there are ways to frame a negative message so it is truthful, yet doesn’t sound so painfully awful. There are ways to present an undesirable truth that help minimize the loss of customers, or in Jesus’ case, followers. We see politicians and corporate spokespersons do it on a regular basis.
But Jesus was no politician. A few verses prior to the ones above, Peter was playing the role of media consultant for Jesus and took him aside and privately rebuked him for being so bluntly negative. Jesus, who must’ve been on quite a roll at the time, criticized Peter publicly and said,”Get behind me, Satan!” Ouch! Then he explains, “For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
And therein is the key to much of what confounds us: we set our minds on human things, not divine. And through our limited human vision divine things often appear dreadful. I treasure my home and family life above everything else on earth. Yet my overwhelming appreciation for home and family is the direct result of several painful years in my young adulthood where I was extremely lonely and miserable. In order to prepare us for beauty and wonder, God must sometimes lead us through dark valleys, often valleys of our own making. Through earthly eyes it is hell. Through divine eyes it is all related, necessary and part of the adventure!
Tom’s sermon title this Sunday is “Who Do You Say That I Am?” based on the scripture from Mark 8:27-38. Life worship is at 10:45 in Brady Hall. Traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00. Contemporary worship on the west campus is at 9:30. What cross are you bearing in your life? Remember, Jesus tells us to take up our cross and follow, which implies we are not to bear our crosses alone. Bring your cross to church this week. Bring a friend and their cross, too. We have plenty of room.
Come home to worship this Sunday. We’ll leave the Light on for you…
Greg Hildenbrand, Life Worship Music Coordinator