December 20, 2017 – Matthew

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. Matthew 16:24-25.

Who are you following?  We all follow something in our life time. We feel more comfortable when we follow. We choose who or what to follow.  We are not coerced. Baby ducks follow their Duck Mom, and are cared for.

Long ago the Israelites followed Moses out of their enslavement to Egypt.  Moses followed the signs of God.  Abraham followed God’s leading to travel to the country God promised according to the covenant. Jonah tried to take a detour from following God’s command and found himself trapped in the mouth of a big fish. Then Jesus was born, and the Wisemen followed the bright star in the heavens.  They followed the light to the Light.

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” John 8:12.  Walking in darkness following man-made light is hazardous.  This light fails just as we try to cross a deepest crevice, and we are lost – and we lose our souls.

Jesus, our everlasting Light, calls, Follow me! He leads us out of the darkness of sin. Our prayer comes from Psalm 5:8 – Lead me in the right path, O Lordor my enemies will conquer me.  Make your way plain for me to follow.

And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is Anything worth more than your soul? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds. Matthew 16:26-27.