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Today in the Mission Yearbook

Just passing by …


How do you hear Jesus’ calling you to follow him?

April 2, 2021

Garden of Gethsemane (Photo by Tammy Warren)

Has anyone ever come into your life to help you, just when you needed help and had nowhere to turn? Have you ever been that urgent helper for someone else?

For Jesus, that man was Simon, an olive or black-skinned African who had traveled hundreds of miles to Jerusalem from his home in the area of Cyrene, which is today a community in Libya. Simon, who was either Jew or Gentile (no one knows for sure), was just passing by the crowd headed toward Golgotha, or so he thought.

Simon of Cyrene had been written into Jesus’ journey to the cross by God himself long before Good Friday.

Being forced to carry the implement of death, the crossbeam already bloodied by the wounds of Jesus’ scourging, would defile Simon and make it impossible for him to enter the temple courts. Yet the soldiers were insistent.

So, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was compelled to pick up the crossbeam and follow in Jesus’ steps (Mark 15:21).

I believe this was one of Jesus’ final lessons. It’s a lesson for all of us passersby, a lesson as simple as “follow me.” Many believe this encounter with Jesus brought salvation to Simon’s entire household (Isaiah 46:11).

We are all born. We all die. Between birth and death, we are but passersby until we are transformed by encountering the risen Christ.

How do you hear Jesus’ calling you to follow him on this Good Friday and every day?

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” — Matthew 11:28–30

Tammy Warren, Communications Associate, Presbyterian Mission Agency

Today’s Focus:  Jesus’ Calling You

Let us join in prayer for: 

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Paul Grier, Presbyterian Foundation
Laurie Griffith, Office of the General Assembly

Let us pray:

Lord God, we have seen many Good Fridays and Resurrection Sundays come and go. Remind us anew of the extravagant sacrifice and excruciating death of your one and only son, Jesus. It is only because he took our diseases and bore our infirmities that we can stand firm through your mercy and love. Lord, we ask you to renew a steadfast love within us, as we fix our eyes on Jesus and follow him home. Amen.