About the gospel, The Rev. David W. Peters tells us: “. . . “When the days drew near for [Jesus] to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.” Jesus was walking into a death-trap, and yet he set his face, stone-like in the Greek, towards Jerusalem. He knew what he was getting into, and yet he moved toward Jerusalem because he had the freedom to love. Jesus was determined to love the whole world, including the people who actively rejected him. This is the ultimate freedom, the freedom to love those who do not love us. The ultimate freedom is the freedom to love our enemies.”
When the days drew near for Jesus to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. . . . As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
From sermon4kids.com: “Jesus is still calling today, “Follow me!” Will you follow, or will you make excuses?”
Collect: Almighty God, you have built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone: Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their teaching, that we may be made a holy temple acceptable to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Reflection: What new mantle is God placing on your shoulders? Where in your life is the new beginning, the unfamiliar task, the calling to a path on which the ending is yet unclear?
Sunday School—out for the summer
Ear Worm: “Jesus calls us, o’er the tumult”: Jesus calls us o’er the tumult / of our life’s wild restless sea; / day by day his voice still calls us / saying, ‘Christian, follow me.’
Jesus calls us from the worship / of the vain world’s golden store, / from each idol that would keep us, / saying, ‘Christian, love me more.’
In our joys and in our sorrows, / days of toil and hours of ease, / Jesus calls, in cares and pleasures, / ‘Christian, love me more than these.’
Most of us are familiar with this hymn. Yet, how many ways can it be interpreted. First, as we mostly get to hear this hymn, from Polk Street Methodist Church. Here’s a diversion from the “traditional” (read “most familiar”) hymn sung by a cathedral choir. Lastly, here’s a graphical presentation in loud rock by Koine; so very moving—Jesus calling us over the din of our lives.
Commentary on the Gospel by Sarah Dylan Breuer; “Follow me“, poem about following Jesus, author unknown; [From the editor: In Camelot, Lerner and Loewe craft a song “Follow me” for Nimue to sing. I have always thought that with very little efforts, one could see this as a call to follow Jesus. What do you think?] “Follow me” lyrics: Far from day, far from night / Out of time, out of sight / In between earth and sea / We shall fly; follow me.
Dry the rain, warm the snow; / Where the winds never go / Follow me, follow me, follow me
To a cave by a sapphire shore / Where we’ll walk through an emerald door / And for thousands of evermores to come, my life you shall be
Only you, only I / World farewell, world goodbye / To our home ‘neath the sea / We shall fly; follow me / Follow me, follow me, follow me.
Movies/Videos: “Keeping the faith” (2000), “explores and celebrates our religious differences.”; “Book of Eli” (2010), violent, graphic movie about being called to serve in a post apocalyptic world [Editor’s note: a must see for the “not so faint” at heart]; “Hacksaw Ridge” (2016), story of conscientious objector in World War II.
Image “Endless Road” (1971) by Margret Hofheinz-Doring.
Think about the gospel for this Sunday (Luke 9:51-62): How will you answer this: If we really follow Jesus, where will we need to go?