This week our guest writer, Curt Berg, looks at the work of solidarity in Rogers Park as a “call to carry the cross.” Where might your call take you?
Lent is a journey many church communities symbolically walk with Jesus on His road to the cross. Throughout this trip, there are twists and turns. Many things happen to you that you would not expect. The big one is when a Roman soldier stops on the path, looks at you and shouts, “YOU! Carry the cross!” You think…What? Who am I? Why me? Maybe I don’t want to! Oh, oh, not a good thing to say when a Roman soldier gives you a command. Your life could be in great danger.
As I view from the outside – looking in, I see this sort of thing happening in the North of
Howard neighborhood. The twists and turns of life come in many forms – dysfunctional family
relationships, needs that can’t be met immediately, unplanned events, joys and sorrows. I also see people like Simon from Cyrene in Matthew 27:32, who are asked to carry the cross, but don’t feel equipped to do so. Yet, because they are asked, they get the job done. If you asked me to carry the cross I would be overwhelmed by the enormous task you’ve asked me to do. But when the need is there I would hope I would step forward and carry the cross. How about you? Are you willing and able this Lenten season to consider the offer to carry the cross?
C24/7: Father’s Arms Ministries tries to live in the twists and turns of life. When those twists and turns of life come, it’s not always what one expects. C24/7 lives amid the twists and
turns of life. I feel they are the Simon of Cyrene asked to carry the cross for Jesus. They carry
that cross in the north of Howard neighborhood. God has called them to carry that cross even
though it’s an overwhelming task. It’s also a huge responsibility and carries a lot of stress.
You can pray with us during Lent! Click here to download our Daily Lent Prayer
I pray every day the LORD gives those working in the North of Howard neighborhood the strength to carry the cross and will give them the joy they need to keep going. Satan would love to snuff them out and make them feel ill-equipped and weak. “But thanks be to GOD, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere (2 Corinthians 2:14).”
In a recent C24/7 Facebook post there was a picture of a peaceful street. Soon it would be full of activity and clutter. The vision of C24/7 is to instill hope, safety, and transformation in the North
of Howard neighborhood. It may seem calm and peaceful on the outside, but internally there is despair, fear, and addictions. As we expect the unexpected and bring the hope of Jesus who can make crooked paths straight, we thank the LORD for using C24/7 to accomplish His will and ways in and through others. May this season of Lent draw you nearer to our LORD and Savior as we contemplate the way to the cross and all it brings!