taking the words of Jesus seriously

Lent is a season of preparation. It is a liturgical period of time where we soberly look toward the cross and consider the true cost of discipleship. It is a time during which we remember that we were bought with a price and acknowledge that our lives are not our own.

Within his seminal text The Cost of Discipleship Dietrich Bonhoeffer prophetically proclaimed, “When Christ calls a man [sic], he bids him come and die.” But, all too often, we try to elude death and live the Christian life as modified versions of our old selves rather than as new creations. To faithfully follow Christ, we must let go of the wheel, surrender control, and fully entrust ourselves to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.

So, as we enter into this Lenten season, let us do so acutely aware of what it means to follow our crucified and risen Savior in the midst of worldly empires. To follow our Messiah — who came into the world in human flesh to inaugurate the Kingdom of God amid the most powerful empire the world had ever known up to that point — was and still is not an easy task.

Read the rest at InterVarsity Press’ ‘Behind the Books’ blog

About The Author


Dominique DuBois Gilliard is the Director of Racial Righteousness and Reconciliation for the Evangelical Covenant Church. He is the author of "Rethinking Incarceration: Advocating for Justice that Restores," which won a 2018 Book of the Year Award for InterVarsity Press and was named Outreach Magazine’s 2019 Social Issues Resource of the Year. Gilliard also serves as an adjunct professor at North Park Theological Seminary and on the board of directors for the Christian Community Development Association. In 2015, the Huffington Post named him one of the “Black Christian Leaders Changing the World.” Gilliard’s forthcoming book "Subversive Witness: Scripture’s Call to Leverage Privilege" will be released August 24, 2021.

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