Jesus offered no easy religion to his disciples and he offers no easy religion to us. We don’t much like that. So often we think of faith as some sort of insurance policy against suffering, hurt, betrayal, sickness and death itself. Like Peter we don’t want a faith that goes there. We want a return for our investment. We want our rights. We want our freedom. The list of our wants go on and on. Like Peter we don’t want Jesus to suffer but is that in part because we don’t want to be caught up in his suffering?
It is easy to deal with the sufferings of others at a distance. We may support causes, write checks, travel to meetings in our nice cars and utter revolutionary thoughts! We may be attacked by those who oppose our views. What a comfortable martyrdom. Yet always there, behind the altar, on the wall, however tasteful or ornate, is the Cross. “If any would follow me they must take up their cross.”
Yet even at the gate of death we cry Alleluia. So speaks the language of our Prayer Book. If our faith isn’t an escape from hurt, isn’t a faith about a Messiah who comes to do it all for us, it is a faith which brings us extraordinary joy in walking the way of the cross through death into life.
Read it all.