A way to live in the mission field of leisure:
In “time off” or recreation, seek to be loving and just even when it is difficult.
Based on Mark 8:27-38 (a retelling in the present tense below), a reading that comes from the Revised Common Lectionary for the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, 9/16/18.
[For Mark, this incident is a crucial turning point in Jesus’ mission.]
On the way to Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asks his disciples the crucial question. First, he asks them what people are saying about him. They answer people are saying he is John the Baptist; others say he is Elijah; still others say he is a prophet. [A prophet is not a predictor of the future but one who interprets the present; a “prophet” is, literally, “a forth-teller.”]
Jesus presses them for who do they say he is. Peter answers, “You are the Messiah.” Jesus strongly orders them not to tell anyone about him. [Mark emphasizes that Jesus wants to keep his identity secret.]
Jesus goes on to teach them that the Son of Man [Mark’s first use of this term for Jesus] will be rejected by the religious leaders; suffer and be killed; and on the third day rise again. Peter pulls Jesus aside and rebukes him. Jesus, turning to look at all of the disciples, rebukes Peter saying, “Get behind me, Satan! You are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
Jesus calls the crowd and the disciples to him saying that anyone who follows him must deny himself and take up their cross [risk suffering and death] and follow him. If you want to save your life, you will lose it. Those who risk losing their life to follow Jesus will save their life. What good is it to gain the whole world but lose your life? What can any give in return for their life? Those ashamed of Jesus [who deny Jesus] will be ashamed [denied] when Jesus comes in the glory of his Father.
A theme: Following Jesus is costly.