There is a direct challenge in this week's Bible lesson. I have read the lesson several times already this week but just noticed this today. It comes from the gospel of Matthew. "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." That phrase 'take up his cross' resonated with me. What did the Master mean by that and how can I be obedient to that directive?
Each of us has times when we feel like we are dragging around a cross to be borne, some sense of a heavy burden we are dealing with. Or we might see some cross looming in our future, some unavoidable something that we are fearing or dreading. Some confrontation. Some physical condition that has appeared and now seems to be getting bigger, more evident, suggesting a name of some disease. It might be the world's thoughts about advancing age or diminishing funds. Whether it is a present situation that must be shouldered, weighing us down, or something we fear on the horizon, it seems to be our cross to bear. No one else can help.
What if we chose to 'kiss the cross', as Mrs. Eddy expresses it in hymn 253. She says we can 'wake to know a world more bright'. That cross certainly loomed for Jesus. He made his choice and that experience led to his resurrection and ascension. Isn't that what we all want? So what is required of us?
The cross indicates sacrifice. Is there something in your thought that you need to let go of, some wrong idea about God (I prayed about this but He didn't do anything), some wrong idea about yourself (I am somehow separated from divine Love, outside of Love's care and protection), some wrong idea about someone else (he or she is just impossible), some wrong idea about church (the services are so boring). It is our choice whether we shoulder this as a problem to be endured or take up the false idea and grow spiritually as we understand God's allness and goodness. God's law is the only law we are subject to. Mrs. Eddy tells us that "Truth is God's remedy for error of every sort".
Don't fear this cross. Embrace the opportunity to have it lift you up. Once you see the unreality of some illusion it can no longer fool you. All you see is what is really there. Good is the reality. Health is the reality. Abundance is the reality. Harmony is the reality.