I’ve done a lot of thinking and writing over the years about the Cross of Christ, and what that means for our crosses, too. I’ve mused about our Lord’s dread of the cross, being willing to give up everything to take up that cross and follow Him, and why one of the Gospels puts in that we need to daily take it up.

These are reflections that I usually ponder for obvious reasons during Holy Week, so I certainly didn’t expect to start a year off with a post about the cross. But during my prayer time last week, I was meditating on Jesus’ cross–the physical one, which both He and Simon the Cyrene carried–and something new occurred to me. And that is this:

When Jesus spoke so often throughout His ministry about us, His followers, taking up our crosses, He was certainly speaking about burdens and sacrifices, yes … but He knew something else about His own cross. He knew it wasn’t only about suffering and sacrifice. He also knew it was about PURPOSE.

Christ didn’t suffer and die and accept that burden of our sins for nothing. He did it for a purpose–the ultimate purpose. He did it for the salvation of all mankind.

We know this, of course … but have we ever paused to apply that to our crosses? Maybe you have, but it had never come to me in quite that way before. That He is calling us to take up our purpose. Our calling. He is calling us to walk that out every day. He is calling us to obey and act and carry it into our lives. Up that hill.

Is it a sacrifice? Yes. It is sometimes hard and heavy? Yes. Do we do it anyway? Yes. Because it’s worth it. He is worth it. Working for Him and His Kingdom is worth it.

We have many jobs in our lives, many things that employ our time. We celebrate the dignity of work, of earning, of enabling the survival of the families with whom God has trusted us.

But we are also ALL called to follow Him, first and foremost. We are called to go forth, every day and every week, and shine His light into this dark world. We are called to take up His cross, His passion, His purpose for our own and share about the salvation of mankind. To share in that salvation. We are called to go and to do and to obey.

For a purpose. His purpose. The purpose of the Cross.

How are we walking that out in our daily lives? How are we focusing first and foremost on it in our other work? Is everything we do for the purpose of the Cross … or are we at cross-purposes with Him?

What do we need to reevaluate as this year begins to align ourselves more fully with His purposes?

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