Our call to carry our cross

I sound like a broken record most of the time. I preach about what our calling as Christians is and for many of you, it is a message that you are tired of hearing. But like the prophet Jeremiah in this Sunday’s first reading, I cannot be silent for the message burns in my soul.

As I write this blog post, I am sitting on my porch watching the hurricane’s effects on my neighborhood. Much like many Christians today, we see them act in a manner that is inconsistent with their claim of following Jesus. With a hurricane we expect destruction and damage. With Christians we expect love and compassion. Sadly, we see very little love and compassion from Christians anymore.

In the aftermath of this hurricane there will be Christians who will claim that the destruction it wrought was caused by God’s anger for the way people live. Instead they should see this as an opportunity to help out those effected by the hurricane rather than condemn them as evil people. This is a time for true Christians to step up and show what Jesus would do in this situation.

Sadly, it is not just the Christian laity that need to hear this message. Clergy too have lost their way when it comes to Christian compassion and love. They have forgotten what it means to take up their cross and follow our savior. Instead they view themselves as better than others. They lash out when held accountable for their own actions or lack of action. They pound their chest in “righteous indignation” over the way they are treated. They refuse to take instruction from someone they view as being beneath them.

We can all learn from one another. We are called to be “iron sharpening iron”. And that does not mean that we do it in an abrasive way. We should teach and learn in kindness, compassion, and love. We should take up our crosses and follow our Savior everyday, not counting the cost. Ministry and the call of Christianity is to leave everything behind for the call of the Kingdom of God. And that is not easy, but in the end it is worth it.

This is a time of self-reflection and examination of our calling. It is a time to ask ourselves if we are truly willing to lay down our lives for the call of Christ. Are we willing to be true Christians or are we content being Christians in name only? Before you point out the speck in your brother’s eye, maybe take a moment to examine the plank in your own.

Pax et Bonum,

Bishop Greer