Do you remember playing games when you were younger? I love to watch children play Simon Says or Follow the Leader.
It’s always fascinating to see what tricky steps or stunts the leader will try to make the followers do.
Of course, when I was younger, I loved playing these games, but not when I couldn’t follow what the leader was doing.
And then, there was that one child who wanted to mutiny and take over the line because he or she wanted to be the leader.
Jesus had been the leader of a group of friends for about three years, and his leadership had taken the disciples through some tough times and hard places.
They had seen their friend killed and had known the unbelievable surprise of seeing him in his resurrected form.
Now, Jesus asks Peter to follow him, but this time he tells Peter what’s at stake. He tells Peter how he will die eventually for the sake of the gospel.
Then, after Peter knows what the cost of discipleship is, Jesus again said, "Follow me."
Being a Christ follower (also called Christian) is not supposed to be a life of roses and sunshine.
We will have sorrow and pain because that’s a part of being human. We will have times when people don’t understand us, and we will even have times when we are overtaken by those tough times.
They become like the little child who wanted to take over being the leader in our games.
They want to take over our thoughts and lead us down the dark, sad paths of depression.
Being a Christian doesn’t magically make this life easier or promise us that we won’t have problems.
We may even have more problems because of Christ. Jesus tells us the cost of discipleship when he said, "Blessed are you when others revile you and speak all kinds of evil against you for my sake."
Jesus doesn’t promise us an easy road, but he does promise that regardless of what we face, he will walk with us, strengthening us for the journey and holding us up when we can’t stand on our own.
Rev. Jan McCoy is the associate pastor of Covington First United Methodist Church in downtown Covington. She may be reached at email@example.com.