Denying self, following Christ

28 Sep 2023 • From Bishop Richard Jackson

In this week's video, Bishop Richard talks about the example of Captain Stephen Beattie, one of five courageous servicemen awarded the Victoria Cross for their daring raid against the dry dock of St. Nazaire in 1942.

He says: 'God is revealed to be one who gives of Himself for the benefit of others and Jesus calls His followers to do the same.  The call is to take up our cross, deny ourselves and to follow Him.  So many paradoxes here: we find ourselves by losing ourselves; we die to ourselves in order to truly live.  This is profoundly counter-cultural in an age of self-indulgence.  Oscar Wilde’s confession that the way to deal with temptation is to give in to it could be our culture’s motto.  It should not be ours.  Deep down, as the recognition of heroes like Captain Stephen Beattie shows, there is an instinct that sacrifice and self-denial are the highest manifestations of human behaviour.  This touches every part of the life of a disciple.  Our culture may tell us, “if it feels good, do it”, but we look to a higher authority for self-regulation.'

Visit the diocesan website for transcripts of the Bishop of Hereford's Message.