Confessing Christ in word and deed
Gospel: Mark 8:27-38
27Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” 29Jesus asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” 30And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.
31Then he began to teach them that the Son-of-Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33But turning and looking at his disciples, Jesus rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
34Jesus called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 36For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? 38Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son-of-Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
Our voices are capable for good and for evil, Jesus invites us today to remember to proclaim this Good News – Jesus is the Messiah, who will suffer death and on the third day be raised again. And because he lives, we shall too.
That certainly is message that often gets rebuked in our world and it’s not always easy to share Good News in a world full of Bad News. But this is the good news of the kingdom – that in dying there is rising. God loves us so much that nothing in this world, not even Satan himself, will be able to keep us from being resurrected to new life. That the elements of this world like greed, power, fame and fortune are nothing in comparison to the love, mercy and grace we find in the kingdom of God.
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are invited to share this truth with others – to show the world what love really looks like in serving our neighbors in need. We give voice to that gospel each time we engage in acts of service and speak words of care. This is what it means to confess Jesus Christ as the Messiah, this is what it means to take up the cross – because it’s the only way we truly can experience the power of resurrection, it’s the only way that we will see our world rise up, it’s the only way we can see thy kingdom come.