Good morning, Mini-Women! We are almost ready to leave Philippi with Jesus and I am JAZZED that yesterday EMMA ADELINE, BAYLEE, and SIERRA joined us. Fifteen of us are gathered -- as excited as Maeryn is -- and that's probably not everybody, since some people like to join in silently and not comment. That is perfectly okay. You can jump in any time!
Jesus gave us some instructions yesterday. He said if we're coming along with him on this Lenten Journey to Jerusalem we have to remember that we're following HIM. Whatever he says on this trip goes.
Most of us admitted in our comments that this could be tough. We sort of like to make up our own minds about stuff, and sometimes what Jesus tells us to do is confusing. Sometimes when you really think about it, what he says is different from what we've always believed.
In that way, we're just like the disciples back then.
You came up with two things that will really, really help us:
ARIANAH says we need to be praying for God to keep us strong and obedient. RIGHT ON! We can't JUST make up our minds to follow Jesus wherever he takes us. We SO need God and we only get close to God by praying. I will write a prayer at the end of each post. How does that sound?
HOLLY said, "We're all in this together." Yeah, I'm not saying, okay ZOE you follow Jesus, and then in a few days, NOELLE you start following Jesus, and then next week SUPERGIRL it's your turn. We are traveling as a group. That means we can ask each other questions -- like, "Do you understand what he's talking about? Because I don't!" We can encourage each other --
"RYLIE, you haven't commented in a while. Are you still with us?" This is the Body of Christ. Doesn't that sound good?
You figured that out on your own, Mini-Women. Do you know how many struggling adult Christians haven't put that together? I think God is working in us already.
JESUS himself says one more thing to help us follow him without straying off someplace. It may sound harsh at first, but it's really not.
"Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self." Matthew 16:26-27, The Message
Before you go, "I'm supposed to HUG the things that go wrong and make me feel awful?" -- let's imagine ourselves sitting in a grassy place with Jesus -- all of us in a circle. He looks at each of us and says -
* If something gets messed up, we're going to face it -- together. We're not going to pretend girls aren't mean to you -- or you feel like your parents don't treat everybody the same in the family. I'm not going to say, "You shouldn't feel that way." I'm going to say, "Let me help you sort this out."
*Just remember, Mini-Women, that if you could figure everything out by youself, you wouldn't NEED me. There would be no reason to come on this journey.
* When I say self-sacrifice, I don't mean give up everything you love and enjoy. I'm saying, "Give up all the things that aren't really you. Quit trying to be somebody you're not. Stop hiding who you are so people won't laugh at you."
Then he looks at us with his kind eyes and he says,"There are 15 selves here who absolutely cannot come along on this trip to Jerusalem."
Startled, we look around and count. There are fifteen of us. Does that mean nobody gets to go? MADIE raises her hands and asks that.
Jesus smiles and shakes his head. He says, "Only the false selves get left behind. Anything that isn't true and real about you, anything the Father didn't create you to be, that doesn't get to go to Jerusalem."
We all start to panic a little. How do we give up our false selves?
Jesus lays his hand on each of our heads and we begin to feel a calm. "I don't expect you to strip away all the falseness right this minute. I just want you to be willing to shake off things like:
* What will the other girls think if I post this comment about not understanding what we're talking about?
* My comments have to be perfect so I don't look like an idiot.
* I'm going to say I'm in but some of this is just lame.
* This is way cool but I hope none of my other friends find out I'm doing it. They'll say I'm a Jesus Freak.
* I'm not going to say it but, really, I'm so far ahead of the other girls on the blog. I KNOW all this already.
Jesus says, "Thoughts like that will come. Just tell them they can't come along and then you keep folowing me. We're going to find your true soul."
We all reach out to each other and hold hands in a circle and we pray this prayer together:
Thank you, God, for sending this leader and savior to show us who we are. Thank you for teaching us how to follow him, one step at a time. And thank you for each other -- for this Body of Christ. Please help us to remember to pray, and to hold each other up, and to leave our falseness behind, piece by piece by piece.
If you want to comment today tell us what false parts you're goign to try to leave behind. Me? I'm going to leave, "I want everybody on this trip to think I'm amazing," behind.
See you Monday, Mini-Women, when we will climb a mountain with Jesus.