They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry Jesus’ cross; it was Simon of Cyrene….Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council,…went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Mark 15:21 & 43
Simon of Cyrene and Joseph of Arimathea are both mentioned toward the end of the story of Jesus’ life and death. Simon was the man the Roman authorities compelled to help Jesus carry His cross to Golgotha, and Joseph was the man who went to Pilate to ask for Jesus’ body after His crucifixion. We know nothing of these two men other than their individual acts of faith—carrying a cross and burying a body. Simon and Joseph are named in the scriptures, so we know they are people of significance, but their acts of faith are fairly ordinary and unremarkable in comparison to many of the miraculous stories of the Bible.
God does not call all of us to great and expansive world-changing life work. Men like Jesus, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr., for example, are a rare breed. Few if any of us will be called upon to play a leading role in God’s epic human drama. But we can take on our small roles with great passion and conviction. We can choose to be a faithful spouse, a present and participatory parent or grandparent, or a fair and honest employer. We can step forward when called upon. Stepping up and giving our best, carrying crosses when that is called for, and taking modest but important risks of faith is exactly what God asks of us.
Is there a task, job, or responsibility for which you have given less than your best effort because you felt it was of little importance or value?
Lord, help me to reenvision my life so that I am able to see significance and meaning in all that I do. Allow me to give my best effort at work, at home, and in all my relationships so that I might experience the joy of doing all things to Your glory. Help me avoid the trap of being a small-minded actor; instead, inspire me take on my small role in life with great passion. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.