There are a lot of songs around a single theme (pun intended), Being alone. One is the loneliest number… All by myself… All alone… Alone in love… I’ll go on alone. We go through life fluctuating between wanting to be left alone and craving companionship. There is even a popular song titled “Leave Me Alone, I’m Lonely” to drive home that dichotomy. As we mature, we are often faced with the reality that there are things we need to do on our own. Driving, walking, running, dating, praying, talking, and singing are all examples where, if we are going to truly master something, we must learn to do it alone.
In 1937, the German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, published his classic writings on Discipleship. One of the key points is that of the Cross of Christ. The charges given regarding the Cross are to be taken by each and every disciple. They must pick up their own cross and follow Christ’s example. They must die individually to sin, die individually to their selfish desires, die individually to the propensity to act on their own best interests, and pursue that relationship with Christ. To truly walk the path of Christ, follow in His footsteps, is to walk a lonesome road that no one else can walk for you. It is one that few actually walk revealing why there are so many “fans” of Jesus and so few followers. They are willing to listen, observe, glean truths, but not to die to their own and societies desires in order to be Christ’s Ambassador.
Paul’s Second Letter to the Church at Corinth continued to expand on his instruction on how to live in a world that celebrated myth over truth, where life was at the mercy of the gods instead of given lovingly by the God of Israel. The fifth chapter focuses on how God has reconciled Himself to us through the Cross and His great love for us. Our journey to, and through, the Cross enables us to be Christ’s Ambassadors, speaking, teaching, and loving as He does. Until we walk the path of Christ to and through the Cross, we remain fans who will piece out what we like, leaving behind what would inconvenience us, and continue to alienate those who are being called to a relationship because we claim the Name of Christ, but not the life that He calls us to bear, one of sacrificial love and service.
We often hear of what the Gospel offers us, and we like the promises that offer Eternal Life, Heavenly peace, and freedom from worry and pain, but reject what truly makes up ALL of His Promises. If we are to be true disciples, we will look to the Cross and cherish its pain and suffering in return for the glory that waits us because we have treasured giving God Glory in this life. May we walk this road alone so that we may have fellowship with all who would walk it to gather His children to Him?
Am I living a life of sacrifice to Christ or one fearing the cost I might pay?