“Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me;” -Matthew 16:23
What are your stumbling blocks these days? It’s so easy to get caught up in whatever is center stage right now; and today we’re in the middle of a pandemic, a civil rights movement, and an election season. No joke that we might find stumbling blocks in how we navigate any of those current situations. I like to think that when we look at the world through our lens of faith we find ourselves living as Christ has called us, but I’m afraid this verse holds more truth in naming that the stumbling blocks are likely each of us. In my mind it offers us two possibilities for response we can either get out of the way and let Jesus work through those who are willing to lose their life for him or we can get behind and follow him.
So often we think we have all the answers or we expect that others who we align ourselves with, who we follow, who we trust, that perhaps they will guide us over or through the stumbling blocks that keep us from a life with Christ. We’re not so different from Peter who in one breath (Matthew 16:17) is praised for his faithful confession, and in the next he is condemned for his lack of faith. Peter is not alone in this experience. Try as we might, all people fail God. All people turn away from the life our Lord offers. How will you overcome the stumbling blocks in this season to take up your cross and follow Jesus?