Letting Go for Dear Life

Letting Go for Dear Life

Scripture: Mark 8:31-38 (NRSVue)

Jesus “on the way.” Jesus is on the way to Jerusalem, which means he is forging ahead to Calvary and the cross. Our goal is to have “the dust of the rabbi” kicked up onto us because we follow so close behind his footsteps. Christ’s words go to the very heart and soul, the very center of Christianity and our lives. Jesus never watered down his words or buttered up his audience to increase approval ratings. He never said it would be easy following him. Our Lord is challenging us today to greatness—to be bold and courageous in tenuous times. And he never asks us to do what he himself has not done. Jesus is gentle and humble in heart…and very demanding. Why? He believes in us and he lives in us. Come, let us follow Christ together to the cross and beyond!

Sermon Art: “Crocefisso No. 18” by William Congdon (1912-1998)


Worship Services (YouTube video links)


February 25, 2024

  • 8:30 am – Alternative Worship Service Bulletin (click) 
  • 11:00 am – Traditional Worship Service Bulletin (click)

All of Immanuel’s Worship Service Videos are available on our YouTube Channel.
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Discussion Questions:

  1. What jumps out at you in the passage?
  2. If you were granted one wish, what would it be? What would you be willing to part with to have the wish come true? What would you not be willing to do?
  3. Jesus call us to come to him and to follow him. In Matthew 11:28 Jesus says, “Come to me and I will give you rest.” But in this passage, Jesus summons us to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow him.” What is similar about these two calls? What is different?
  4. Jesus gives us some very challenging and difficult words here. Why didn’t he water down his message to make it an easier pill to swallow? What is scary about these words? Attractive about them?
  5. Do you agree or disagree with this statement: The way of the disciple is the way of Jesus. And the way of Jesus is the way of the cross. You can’t have Christ without the cross.
  6. What do you think of Kierkegaard’s words in one of his Christian Discourses: “Christianity has been taken in vain, made too mild, so that people have forgotten what grace is. The more rigorous Christianity is, the more grace becomes manifest as grace and not a sort of human sympathy.”
  7. What is the difference between denying yourself and hating yourself? When is it healthy? When does it become unhealthy?
  8. Which one of these temptations is the hardest for you?
    • Don’t sacrifice your integrity for profit.
    • Don’t sacrifice your principles for popularity.
    • Don’t sacrifice lasting things for quick fixes.
    • Don’t sacrifice eternity for a fleeting moment.
    • Don’t sacrifice _________ for __________________.
    • How does denial of ourselves bring us real life?

Rev. John Tittle




Other Sermons In This Series

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