SIMON PERRY

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Carrying Your Cross

Lent Meditation 2020

 

 

Whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

 

To carry your cross is to be a condemned criminal: you are on your way to execution.  

 

To carry your cross is to follow Jesus to execution: you have already accepted that your life is over.

 

To carry your cross is to live as though your life is over: your hopes, your ambitions, your potential, your future, your past, your legacy, your name – all are gone.  

 

All that is left, after crucifixion, is unspeakable shame.

 

Whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

 

Great – well we don’t like the sound of that.  So why don’t we sugar-coat the cross, silver-plate the ugliness, and hang it round our neck.  That way, you can carry your cross without the death sentence, and without even the inconvenience.  

 

But to wear a cross around your neck, is much the same as wearing a board that says, ‘shame’.

 

To wear the cross is to accept that, you are under sentence of death.

 

To wear a cross is to declare that what’s left of your life is nothing other than a stay of execution.

 

Whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

 

This cross conveys that all justice is displaced by the cold dominance of order.

 

This cross unmasks hope as a fantasy, and decrees that fairness is destined for failure.  

 

This cross reveals that revolutionary love is crushed under the weight of a sensible status quo.

 

This cross warns everyone that the Kingdom of God is destroyed by the wrecking ball of what is widely perceived as right, and fair, and proper.

 

Whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.