Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you want to come with me, you must forget yourself, carry your cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16: 24)
How impressive it was to watch Kelly Gallagher speeding down the ski slopes at Sochi in the winter paralympics at up to 60 mph, trusting completely in the instructions she was receiving through her headset from her guide Charlotte Evans.
Kelly is visually impaired and can only just make out the orange colour of Charlotte’s high-vis jacket.
Even with all her other senses honed to the highest level, she has to put an immense amount of trust in another person’s ability to keep her safe before she launches out to follow in her ski-tracks.
Jesus invited his disciples, and invites us still to take the risk of following him.
But far from promising to do his utmost to keep us safe, he says that he is going to lead us into suffering and danger – the way of the cross, on which he had already embarked.
Not safety, but danger; not popularity but persecution; not a gold medal but a crown of thorns – the way that leads through death to life in all its fullness.
Rev. Dr J Mary Henderson
Minister of Laurieston linked with Redding and Westquarter Church of Scotland