Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Mark 8:34)
Jesus truly gave a hard teaching 2,000 years ago: that to follow him meant denying oneself and taking up one’s own cross.
As difficult as this seems, there were people who obediently lived this out. After all, the 12 disciples and the early Christians gave up everything. This meant their families, livelihood, comfort, and eventually, their own lives. All of this was for the sake of sharing the gospel and the message of Christ.
But what does that mean for us today? Do we have to do the same? And what does that look like?
Taking up our cross means to deny ourselves and serve others instead, just as Jesus did. It means considering the needs of our neighbor, not just our own. It means pouring out love and grace to our communities, beyond just receiving it for ourselves.
They say that “actions speak louder than words.” What are ways that we can actively take up our cross, daily?