Thursday, August 17, 2006

following Christ's passion

In the beginning of my reading of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's, The Cost of Discipleship, I am reminded of our Lord's words to a wondering Peter, about the rumor that John would live to see the Lord's return.
...what is that to you? You must follow me
John 21:22; TNIV

It is easy to slip into the notion that following Jesus means getting the desires of our hearts. And certainly we're promised that as our delight is in the Lord, this will indeed be fulfilled (Psalm 37).

Bonhoeffer adeptly reminds us, that it's not at all about us. It's about Christ. And following him. And ultimately fulfilling his passion. Our desire and passion becoming more and more one with his.

Only by grace through faith. Only through Christ by the Spirit. And daily. Certainly setbacks and wanderings, but coming back. To so follow must become for us, what it's about.

And what was Peter's end? Our Lord had just given him a "heads up" on that. It was to be a literal cross. And tradition has it that Peter requested he be so executed, upside down, as he did not deem himself worthy of dying in the same way as his Lord. This following is what it meant for Peter, what it meant for Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and indeed, what it means for each one of us, here and now.

Lord. Let it not be about us. Forgive us that so often that's what it's been about. Let us joyfully follow you. Though we do not know where we're going. Let us know your passion, and your glory. Amen.

4 comments:

John Frye said...

Ted,
This is such a good and much needed reminder. It's the 2 Corinthians part of the gospel story-- Thanks.

Ted Gossard said...

John,
Thanks for sharing that. As I reflect on 2 Corinthians, that is a helpful way to see it. And hopefully to better live in it.

Wonders for Oyarsa said...

We need a lot more of this in our churches, and a lot less "God will give you all the great success you want." What a travesty of the gospel....

Ted Gossard said...

Wonders for Oyarsa,
Thanks for your comment.

Yes. What you're saying is in opposition to the gospel, as Bonhoeffer makes clear in the book. It really misses the boat when one reads the gospels and the words of Jesus. And keeps reading....