Spiritual Theme of the Week

Theme (w/c 26th February 2024): Recognising the Way of Christ

Christians from different traditions emphasise the importance of different aspects of Jesus’ life and teachings.  How do we know if we have understood correctly?  Even St Peter got it wrong sometimes.

Jesus knew that he had to prepare his friends for what was to come.  One day, he drew his disciples close and began to talk to them. He told them that he, the Son of Man, would have to suffer and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the scribes.  He would be killed, and after three days, he would rise again.  He said all this quite openly.  Peter was very upset.  He took Jesus away from the others and began to argue with him.

But Jesus shouted at Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan!’  Then he turned and looked at his disciples and said, ‘You’re thinking about human things.  This is about heavenly things.’  He knew it was hard to hear, but they needed to know.

Calling the crowd to join his disciples, Jesus said, ‘If anyone want to become my followers, let them forget about themselves, take up their cross and follow me.  For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.  What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, but pay for it with their soul?  Don’t be ashamed of me, and I won’t be ashamed of you.’ (Mark 8:31-38)

In 2007, Joshua Bell, a world-famous violinist, busked outside a metro station in Washington DC.  He played for 45 minutes some of the most intricate violin music ever written on a $3.5 million violin.  The night before he had played to a packed theatre where tickets cost over $100.  But in the metro station next morning no one recognised him, only 27 people put money in his hat and he earned $32.


Why were the two performances received so differently? Was it because, although people on the subway were hearing world-class music, they weren’t expecting it, so they didn’t recognise it for what it was when they heard it?

So, too, Peter fails to recognise the way of life as presented in Christ’s suffering and death, even when Jesus told him, because he wasn’t expecting it to look like this.  Setting his mind on ‘human things’, he missed the divine aspect of Jesus’ task.


We pray for followers of Jesus Christ,

especially for those who are imprisoned for their faith.

We pray for those who deny themselves to serve others,

especially those who work in hospitals and prisons and those who are carers.

We pray for those who carry the weight of a cross,

especially for the homeless and unemployed, for those who are ill or bereaved, and for those who struggle with poor mental health.

We pray for ourselves, as we follow Christ,

for strength to overcome our struggles and failures, for our fears and worries, for those we love and those who love us.