June 17th, 2020

by | Jun 17, 2020 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

“Don’t pass it up, pick it up.”

Pastor Jeremiah will be sharing this phrase in his sermon this coming weekend.  He heard it first at Lake Chautauqua Lutheran Center (LCLC) as a mantra to remind campers that if they are walking around and see garbage/litter on the ground that they shouldn’t just “pass it up” and walk by, they should “pick it up” and dispose of it.  

Don’t pass it up, pick it up.

Jesus said the same thing to his disciples.  But he wasn’t talking about trash.  He was talking about “the cross” and picking it up to carry into everything we are and do.

“Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” – Jesus, Matthew 10:38

He wasn’t saying “do this or else.”  He wasn’t telling them they weren’t loved if they forgot.  He was simply letting them know that they were created for a different type of living.  A greater potential.  A lifestyle of cross-carrying.  Of different choice making.  Of priority setting.  Of denying certain things.  Of reordering relationships in our lives so that all of them (even family ones) start and end with a faith perspective.  

He invited them to pick up that type of lifestyle, a cross-carrying lifestyle, so that the kingdom of God could become more visible on a daily basis.  Not waiting for an after-life basis, but a now-present-here reality.

Don’t pass it up, pick it up.

It’s a lifestyle we could all probably pick up a bit more often.  Today.  

As we remember in the ELCA the Emanuel 9, nine Christians who on this day were killed because of the color of their skin in Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, it’s is still very clear that we need to be “picking up” the sacrificial love, grace, hope and forgiveness that comes through the cross of Jesus Christ.  

I remember the interviews of family members in the days following that tragic event and hearing about how boldly and promptly some of the family members had forgiven the shooter for his actions and hatred.  Forgiven.  An almost unthinkable gesture so quickly given in the midst of grief and loss.  And I believe the only way they were able to do that was by picking up that same cross that brought them that powerful measure of forgiveness and grace.

Today, may you remember what the cross means for each of us: God’s gift of his Son for our lives for now and forever.  And may that memory allow you to see everything you do/say/become/prioritize/stand for today as a chance to not pass it up, but pick it up.
 Lord, help me to pick up that cross of love today  Amen

Still in One Peace,
PS