Jesus made a commitment to us. How will we respond?
Commitment forms the foundation of our relationships with each other. Marriage, employment and other commitments underscore our understanding that we are all in this life together. Through that lens, we read today’s Gospel story of Jesus “setting his face toward Jerusalem.” Jesus knew what lay before him: humiliation, sufering and death on a cross. But he remained committed to a sacrificial act of love that would redeem all of humanity.
Jesus knew that the cross also meant resurrection. Resurrection meant defeating death and redeeming humanity for all time. Because he loves humanity, Jesus stays focused on his mission. He encounters many distractions along the way. People make excuses about why they can’t follow him. But Jesus’ expectations of his followers remains high — in keeping with his own.
We all fall short on our commitments. God knows that. He knows we are only human. Jesus’ death and resurrection means that we have a new chance to try again, every day.
Can we set our faces to serve Grass Valley? That’s what Jesus expects of us. Will we fail to live up to our pledges? Most certainly. But we keep coming back together, Sunday after Sunday, despite our failures. In worship, God dusts us off and sets us on our feet again. God sends us back out as we take up our crosses to follow Jesus.
Prayer of Commitment
Sovereign God, ruler of all hearts, you call us to obey you, and you favor us with true freedom. Keep us faithful to the ways of your Son, that, leaving behind all that hinders us, we may steadfastly follow your paths, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
— ELCA Lectionary, Year B
Alleluia! Lord, to whom | shall we go?* You have the words of e- | ternal life. Alleluia.
— ELCA Lectionary, Year B (John 6:68)