Author Brittany Fiscus-van Rossum
Reflection: v. 26, ‘whoever serves me, must follow me’
Just days ago, we celebrated Palm Sunday, a joyous and subversive protest proclaiming Jesus as king. Yet that happy triumph would quickly dissipate as the week escalated toward his impending death—a not so cheery, but no less poignant protest against the powers that be. Such things happen all the time—sometimes we rejoice in the image of God before us, and other times we murder it.
Sometimes we honor, respect, and care for our beloved siblings in Christ, and other times we reject their plights for our own gains. We humans, each of us beloved children of God, have the ability to love God and one another so fully, yet just as often we let ourselves get wrapped up in the wrong things—the things that hurt and kill one another. How is it that, though we want to serve Jesus and even claim him as our own, we so obviously miss the mark and forget what that means? In this passage, Jesus tells his disciples that in order to serve him, they must follow him—and where he is headed is to his death, a grace-filled giving of God’s own self for us. If we want to serve Jesus, if we claim ourselves as ‘Christians,’ we must follow this humble poor man who lays down his life. And if we find ourselves walking in the dusty footsteps of our Lord, does it not seem rather foolish that we would stop along the way to put another down? Can we walk the steps of Christ and be distracted by the folly of trying to make a profit at the expense of others? Can we climb the hill toward that state-sanctioned execution and ignore the many others who have shared Christ’s fate? ‘Being Christian,’ claiming Christ as our King, requires that we stop dealing in death and all the other ways that we keep one another from thriving. In order to serve Jesus, we must follow Jesus, a task much more difficult than any words of allegiance or songs of praise, yet the task to which we are called.
Prayer Jesus, lead the way, and help us to follow you fully.