St Mary Magdalene † St Bartholomew † St Alban †
Sunday 4th March 2012
Take up Thy Cross
We have managed to journey through first week in Lent. We began Lent with pleasing the Father who sees in secret, followed by the story of Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness. This week our Lenten journey takes on another level, we have before us in our gospel reading an invitation ‘to take up the Cross and follow’. For Christ the Cross meant humiliation before his family, friends and foes. He warned his disciples that he will suffer and be killed that this self sacrifice was necessary for all. We each have to take up our crosses daily, accept our sufferings and follow Him. God understands our sufferings, He has already been there. He meets us in them and teaches us new ways via the Cross towards our spiritual ‘ascent’.
Take up thy cross, the Saviour said,
If thou wouldst My disciple be;
Deny thyself, the world forsake,
And humbly follow after Me.
Take up thy cross; let not its weight
Fill thy weak soul with vain alarm;
His strength shall bear thy spirit up,
And brace thy heart, and nerve thine arm.
Take up thy cross, nor heed the shame,
Nor let thy foolish pride rebel;
The Lord for thee the cross endured
To save thy soul from death and hell.
Take up thy cross, then, in His strength,
And calmly every danger brave;
'Twill guide thee to a better home,
And lead to victory o'er the grave.
Take up thy cross, and follow Christ,
Nor think till death to lay it down;
For only those who bear the cross
May hope to wear the glorious crown.
By Charles William Everest. Frances