One Question - Reflections 9-12-18

Texts for 
September 16, 2018
the 17th Sunday 
after Pentecost


Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 116:1-9
James 3:1-12
Mark 8:27-38

Who do you say that I am?  Jesus asks this in the Gospel for this coming Sunday; he asks it of his disciples. Peter’s answer “the Messiah” undoubtedly meant something quite different at this point in his life than it would a few months later after Jesus’ arrest, crucifixion, and resurrection. And I’m guessing that his understanding deepened again when Peter was martyred

“Who do you say that I am?” is a question we also face our whole lives. And like Peter, our answers vary depending on where we are in life and what we have experienced.  Our answer impacts our choices and decisions about using our time, resources, energy and gifts. Our answer impacts our goals, plans and priorities. Our answer impacts how we see other people and how we treat them, whether we judge them or accept them. Depending on where we fall in all those answers, Jesus would call those impacts “taking up our cross”.  

Taking up our cross looks a lot like loving your neighbor as yourself....Using the time, resources, gifts and energy to let others experience God’s love.... Being God’s love in the midst of injustice, controversy, or just messy old daily life.  Commentator Elisabeth Johnson from Working Preacher describes the cross as “losing our lives by spending them for others”. 

“Who do you say that I am?” asks Jesus.



Yes. I have an earworm by The Who.

My reflections on these texts from 2015 can be found by clicking here.

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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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