Rambling for Kirwan Uniting Church Keeping in Touch pew sheet 12 September 2021
If you frequent social media, for example Facebook or Twitter, you’ll probably “follow” fellow posters, and they might “follow” you back. That is, you are notified whenever someone whom you’re following posts something, or their “feed” - their posts - appear first on your “timeline” or your own feed. People with lots of followers are said to be “Influencers”. Society deems influencers to be of more worth than followers. It’s much the same, I’m sad to say, in some trendy church movements. “Christian Leadership Summits” are all the rage. Influencers are leaders, followers are losers.
Interestingly enough, this week’s Gospel (Mark 8:27-38) has Jesus telling his followers that very thing, that they’re losers. “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.”
I don’t know about you, but that’s the sort of influencer I don’t mind following. OK, I might lose my life in a range from John the Baptist’s “I must decrease and He must increase” up to not-to-be-wished-for martyrdom, but Christ’s cross saves that same life.
“Follow! Follow! I will follow Jesus!
Everywhere he leads me I will follow on!”