I'm not preaching this week at Humble Walk. Somehow, I convinced my friend, Kara, to do a double-hitter. She's the pastor at Lake Nokomis Presbyterian in Minneapolis and is a gifted preacher. Lucky us. I will hand out bread and wine and absolutions--Kara will bring the Gospel in words. But I still went to text study and spent a good while with this week's Gospel. (Mark 8: 27-38) It's about losing your life. Jesus tells us to deny ourselves, pick up our crosses and follow. Which will lead to losing our lives and also finding Life. How many of us would sign up for that invitation? Ick. No thanks. Thanks, I'm good, Jesus. Carry on then.
Except, well...we are all losing our lives anyway. Tick tock. (And here I am going to quote Kara...I told you she was good at this gig.) The mistake we make is thinking we can save our life. We actually can't save it. Whether we get hit by a bus today or live to be 85 and die in our sleep...it's going, going...gone.
Okay. So what's the alternative? Sign up to lose it, I suppose. Except, I don't know that you have to go looking to lose it. If you open yourself up to loving people...and participating with God's love in the world...you will lose it. Pause there and think about someone you deeply love. It's true, isn't it?
Rather than one big, grand gesture ("I am going to lose myself. So, I am going to move overseas and work with the poor. I will become the next Mother Teresa..."), it will likely look like...plodding along. Or daily chipping away at it. (Which, to be fair, is not as dramatic or seemingly cool as the one, big grand gesture.) But it's what it looks like for most of us.
Casey (and everyone who has entered Humble Walk in the last four months...through Beer and Hymns, Wild Things in the park, worship) gives us a beautiful visual. Make a Difference Humble Walk.