Matthew 16: 21-28 Take up your cross and follow me

Matthew 16:21-28

21 From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” 24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life? 27 “For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. 28 Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend five to fifteen minutes in silence paying attention to the breath.
  • Remember a time when you have been a stumbling block.
  • Where do you feel this stumbling block in your body?
  • Send your energy to soften this place in your body.
  • Invite God’s forgiveness and healing in this place.
  • Take time to forgive yourself, accepting the forgiveness and love of God.
  • Invite yourself to soften this place in your body gently to it might become more open and free.
  • In this experience what cross do you bear?
  • What do you lose?  What do you gain?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer, embracing the stumbling block(s), and inviting new opening(s).
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, August 28, 2011,  the Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Exodus 3:1-15
Psalm 105: 1-6, 23-26, 45c
Romans 12:1-9-21
Matthew 16:21-28
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD.
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About Lil Smith

My simple life… is not simple at all. Yet it is so simple when I let God lead me. I have been married to Greg for 26 years and we have three wonderful children. My simple life is not simple at all. Yet it is so simple when I let God take control. I followed God’s call to begin seminary at Perkins School of Theology in January 2006. I graduated in May 2011. My life is not simple at all. Yet it is so simple when I listen for God’s call. I began the Degree in the Art of Spiritual Direction at San Francisco Theological Seminary in January 2009. I graduated in May 2011. My life is not simple at all. Yet it is so simple when I listen for God's call. I was ordained in the Presbyterian Church USA and spent three amazing years in Pastoral Ministry at Highland Springs Senior Living in Dallas, TX. My life is not simple at all. Yet it is so simple when I listen for God's call. My passion is the Christian Spiritual Life. As a spiritual director and retreat leader, I am so blessed to hear how God is at work in the world. How is God at work in your life?
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