In the excruciating hours that Jesus hung on the cross, the crowds cried, “Save yourself!” “King of Israel, King of the Jews” they mocked, “come down from the cross.” In much the same way, the world sings in our ears, do what you want.  The hum of the fallen world runs like an undercurrent through our society; we are told to follow our own path, make our own way, and pull ourselves up from our bootstraps.  The deception sounds sweet at first, something akin to the gospel, yet with each step of self-determination we walk away from the cross and elevate ourselves to demi-gods, believing (though we loathe to admit it) we have all the answers.  

The way of the cross recognizes that we are fully incapable of saving ourselves.  Even our best efforts fail in the shadow of the cross.  Our station as disciples of Christ, not just believers, but followers of Christ, is servanthood.  Our rank is servant.  We serve with no expectation of gain.  We serve those who may not and indeed cannot return anything to us.  We love because He first loved us.  We serve because Christ commands that we love one another and because He did not just tell us what to do, he demonstrated sacrificial love in His ministry on earth and in His death on the cross.

Almighty God, my heavenly Father, I have sinned against you in thought and word and deed.  In what I have done, and in what have left undone.  For the sake of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, forgive me all my offenses and grant that I may serve you in newness of life to the glory of your name.  Amen.

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