It's telling how many people yesterday resonated with a sermon built around the idea of stress.
We're a stressed-out bunch. I could start, but never complete, a list of what stresses us. I could ramp up our stress by listing some of the ways we compound the problem with our choices. What I cannot do, and perhaps what you were hoping yesterday's sermon would do, is make your stress disappear. You knew that, but maybe, just maybe, Jesus would give us the secret to a stress-free life, we all hoped.
Instead, Jesus, in his stress and preoccupation with the cross he would bear, told us that following him would cause us stress. Doing what is faithful to God often increases our stress, at least while we're doing it. The Christian martyrs throughout church history have proven that. Even so, there is a peace that comes when we've done what is faithful.
There is also great comfort in knowing that Jesus knows what it is to be stressed, the challenges that come with carrying one's cross, and the difficulties that accompany following him. When we know that Jesus knows what we face, we know we do not face it alone, which may be the difference between manageable and unmanageable stress.
The Peace of Christ be with you,