A way to live a mission in your community:
Serve and help your community in Jesus’ way of caring and being fair; do not exploit or be hard on its members by being greedy or hard of heart.
Based on Mark 8:31-39
A way to live a mission in your community on Mark 8:31-39, a reading from the Revised Common Lectionary for the Second Sunday in Lent, 2/25/18.
[Peter has just said that he believes Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus has replied that the twelve must tell no one about who they believe he is. Apparently, he wants his identity to be concealed for a time.] Jesus teaches the twelve that the Son of Man [Jesus is referring to himself] will be rejected by the religious leaders and be killed, and rise again from the dead. Jesus speaks quite openly [directly and without a double meaning].
Peter takes Jesus aside and criticizes him for talking this way of suffering and death [all of the people expected the Son of Man to vanquish all opposition easily]. Jesus criticizes Peter for thinking the way of the world [that wants an easy victory over evil].
Next, Jesus calls the crowd to join the disciples for more teaching. Jesus’ followers must expect to suffer, to carry a cross as he will. Those who want to avoid suffering and save themselves will lose their life [not their ordinary life but their inner or spiritual life]. Those who are willing to suffer to follow Jesus’ teaching and the good news of the Gospel [God’s reign in the world] will save their life.
There is no profit to be made from winning the whole world while losing one’s life. There is nothing anyone can gain that will compensate for losing one’s life. Those ashamed to follow the Son of Man [Jesus] will find the Son of Man ashamed of them when he comes [at the end of the world] in glory with God, his Father.
A theme: Follow Jesus’ way of enduring the cost of being caring and fair, not the world’s ways of hard-heartedness and exploitation.