Almighty God, guide us to seek your Truth: come whence it may, cost what it will, lead where it might. Amen.
Mark Twain once said, “It ain’t the parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.” Certainly, those words apply to today’s text from Mark. Jesus said, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” It doesn’t take a seminary degree to understand what that means. It’s direct, clear, unambiguous, inescapable, and also really difficult. It has been said that “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.”