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									Sermon                                                          But completely different: taking cross.
Mark 8:31-38                                              Sth do, active, deliberate, series decisions, attitude
A Tale of Two Crosses                                      follow X: choose alternative selfishness, others,
                                                                  renounce comfort, deny interests.
Anyone who wants to be a follower of mine must renounce                       DH Lawrence:
     self; he must take up his cross and follow me.                  Are you willing to be sponged out,
                                                                              erased, cancelled,
 Hard saying: technical term – beyond ordinary                                 made nothing?
            goodness, duty: tough.                                  Are you willing to be made nothing,
Hard; but not other sense – difficult understand.                           dipped into oblivion.
     All too simple grasp – nowhere hide.                           If not, you will never really change.

 Crucifixion Romans execution: carry part some             Disciples orig: Come, follow me, and I will make you
            way: Jesus, Simon Cyrene.                                         fishers of men.
J, before crucifixion, told followers take cross: →       Followed. Now learn how follow, become fishers.
 condemned, humiliated, danger suffering, death.           Not enduring stoically, but taking ╬, following J
       Later, own cross – shockingly plain.                               living dying others.

     Proverbial: We all have our crosses to bear.                         Hard saying indeed.
Difficult colleague, irrational boss, troublesome         This wk: s.o. asked: do sth exceptionally generous,
      teenagers, illness, loss, bereavement.                         possibly dangerous another.
= putting stoically, uncomplainingly difficulties.                I knew – giver stressed, unhappy.
Britons rep patient, uncomplaining, poor service,                          Not sure if help.
          long queues. Mustn’t grumble.                    Counselled helping other ways: less self-denial,
       Virtue patient, accepting, enduring.                                  more safety.
                                                           Half-hr later, prep sermon, J’s encounter Peter.
Peter tried keep J encounter suffering death, J: Out          Curious echo: Willie Barclay – better to burn out than
 of my sight, Satan! You think as men think, not as God                            rust out.
    Surely I: Peter, counselling safe, complacent               Hang on: OK say: take up ╬ even burn out,
                    gospel, w/out ╬.                                              martyred?
    O/c, reason counselled: wldn’t do myself –                          Is wrong look after ourselves?
          so avoided one form hypocrisy…                       Surely need time space eat, rest well, company
but committed another: calling myself Xn, yet not                                 interests.
                prepared take up cross.                                Duties closest: families friends.
  Plenty Stoic endurance: how much shouldering                 Sometimes, taking ╬ = neglecting need most.
                  another’s burdens?                                        Make sense burn out?
                                                              Best Xn shine supernova → weary exhaustion…
                  Last weekend wedding:                        Or steady star, unspectacular, but still serving
                   2nd verse last hymn:                                loving G others 40 yrs more...?
   The love that we wish them, the love that we pray for
    is stronger than storms and more gentle than breath,                IOW: making case hypocrisy:
         endures every trouble, is selfless and faithful,       That is a cross I cannot take: burden too heavy me.
    more precious than life and more lasting than death.       Q – make mockery Xn faith? Advocating not
                  Only: selfish and faithful!                         following Xty? Preaching heresy?
   Freudian slip: not all guilty selfishness where             If so, so C of S: advocates staff not burn out.
                     challenge pinches?                        + Huge spectrum btw absolute selfishness and
    Challenge does pinch: many thinkers realise                              complete selflessness.
                   important take up ╬.
Xn worker NY gangs: You can actually feel the presence        Consider 2 pictures: Jerome in Penitence, El Greco…
 of evil. I know that my life is in danger, I have only one                 Life path suffering…
                 desire – to burn out for God.
    Patricia, Pollokshaws: pendant…Lourdes,
grandmother, family first communions, weddings.
   Two ways taking up ╬: suffering, comfort.

I’m arguing: cannot all go Jerome all way – self-
          denial, weariness, martyrdom.
  But also: called take ╬ more Patricia’s sense.
          Room renunciation every life.
       So many so much time gain world –
           What does anyone gain? asks J.
What indeed – more stress, hassles, worries IHT.
Whether take up every cross, all still called love G
heart, soul, strength, love neighbour selves, love
           enemies, do unto others…

    Hard saying: reality modern life all harder.
        Great enemy Xn life complacency:
              sailed close win today.
   But X is X: we not manage follow perfectly,
 sh’d not give up giving up, turn away self-denial;
not heroes beginning end, all called do sth heroic
                 sometimes for J.
      Scots often see glass souls half-empty,
but renunciation, taking ╬ wonderful way starting
  small, but making huge difference lives others.

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