Prayer and scripture are a primary means of grace for Jesus. They are central to his life and ministry—therefore—they are a primary means of grace for us! If this is the way of Jesus, then it is for us also! Like Jesus, we rely on the Holy Spirit to help us live into the key practices and attitudes that are intended as a means of grace for his followers.
Furthermore, we know all his teachings are meant as a means of grace in our lives, even the one for this Sunday: “if any want to become my followers let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Whoa! Hold up a minute! How can we do this? Maybe we get why this particular teaching has been perceived as too tough or demanding—maybe even impossible and therefore a stumbling block for some.
But Jesus never separates the cross from himself; therefore, the demands of the cross do not weigh us down but lift us up! God’s grace and love bind us to him and to each other so that we are able to die to self in order to take up his life, death and resurrection. We enter into his death, reassured that his way leads to new life now and in the life to come — even if our path is not as straight as his.
Prayer and scripture are a primary means of grace for Jesus as he journeys to the cross for our salvation. So come, let us follow him, “having faith that rests not on human wisdom, but on the power of God.”