A very short Bible passage today, 1 verse(!), Luke Chapter 23 verse 26, ‘The man from the country’.
Here we read of Simon of Cyrene (in what is now modern-day Libya) seemingly being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and ordered to carry Jesus’ cross because He Himself was too weak to do so.
Luke doesn’t say anymore but allows it to be a dramatic picture of the words that Jesus had spoken about previously about taking up our cross daily and following Him (Luke Ch.9 v.23 and Ch.14 v.27). Simon is an acted parable of what it means to be a Christian.
But our devotional writer also points us to the parallel passage in Mark’s Gospel (Ch.15 v.21), where Simon is described as the father of Alexander and Rufus. Why that detail, except that the early church whom Mark was writing to, knew A&R, that they had become Christians? And perhaps too, (some speculation here) this is the same Rufus, who is described by Paul as ‘chosen in the Lord’, and his mother (ie Simon’s wife), ‘who has been a mother to me’ (Romans Ch.16 v.13).
So this “chance” encounter on the road to the cross had led to others becoming disciples of Jesus, wow! SF comments, ‘It is the story of how Jesus builds his church. One “chance” encounter leads to another. One person becomes a link in the chain that eventually leads someone else to faith in Christ. And it all might begin with someone who feels that he or she just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.’ (OR NOT??)
Perhaps that might happen to us today – that we become a link in someone’s faith journey? Perhaps we should pray that it does?
In our extended church address list, we remember in our prayers today,- Fidel and Christine and children in Kenya, – Hannah in North Africa, – Saw Myint our Crosslinks student in Myanmar, – and Frank & Val in Nazareth.