Not ashamed. Are you serious?

footsteps4This past 24 hours or so, I’ve been confronted in all sorts of ways with the challenges and realities of Mark 8:31-38. Especially verses 34 and 35: 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.

Yesterday morning as I spent some quiet time when I awoke, last night at a Lent study group, this morning at staff devotions – these words of Jesus kept coming to me. They’re there in Matthew 16 and Luke 9 too.  In the middle of my reflecting, I came upon these words in the  inward/outward blog. It’s a Franciscan Benediction …

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.

Source: unknown

I recall, hot on the heels of attending a 4000-strong National Christian Youth Convention (NCYC) in January 1991 and with the Gulf War (round 1) raging in the Middle East, being really challenged by that Mark passage.  I still am.  Surely God wants me to be do less reflecting, and a whole lot more of the stuff in that benediction.  I wrote a song called Not Ashamed. To this day, of all the songs I’ve written these past 35 or so years, it’s the hardest for me to sing.  Do I really own what I’ve written here?  Is that me?  Am I serious?   Here’s the text of it.  Click here, then scroll down to get the music and a backing track …

Not ashamed to love
Not ashamed to serve
Not ashamed to be following Jesus.
Put myself aside for my Lord who died.
Not ashamed to be following Jesus.

1. Lord your call is strong
to follow you along a
not so easy road.
Are we prepared to die?
Are we prepared to love?
Will we carry a heavier load?

2. To forget ourselves and
trust in someone else:
that’s the cost of life in You.
As we give You all
we shall gain much more.
It’s the road You call us to.

David MacGregor (C) 1991  Willow Publishing

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