Jesus said, “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever." He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum.
When many of his disciples heard it, they said, "This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?" But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, "Does this offend you? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But among you there are some who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. And he said, "For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father."
Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. So Jesus asked the twelve, "Do you also wish to go away?" Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God." John 6:56-69
We were committed. Mark and I had promised my mother that we would pick beach plums when they got ripe. Since she has been sick, we thought maybe we shouldn't do it anymore, but it is her thing and she loves making the beach plum jelly. She is renown throughout the area for her beach plum jelly. So we started to pick, the other evening and were soon interrupted by neighbors and friends. Then a local official came to tell us folks had called. We were on the edge of the protected dunes but were accused of ruining the dunes. We spoke with her and she was kind to us. We were committed to finishing our collection and she understood what we needed to do and why.
Jesus and his disciples have come to a place of decision. Many who were following him were attracted to the miracles, the healing and the food. But times were going to be challenging and some only wanted an easy road. Jesus challenged them and some left. But some stayed declaring that they would follow him and could see no other way to go, no other option, no other road but him. When we are committed, we follow through despite the challenges and our fear. And God promises to be with us no matter where the road takes us. We are never alone or abandoned when we are committed to God.
Today I ask God to be firm in my commitments, to follow where God leads trusting that I will be guided every step of the way. May we all trust that with our faith comes a deep companionship, an abiding presence, and the living God with us in our darkest hours. May we take heart when the clouds of life amass, knowing that God has committed to us long before we could do likewise.
Grant, O merciful God, that your Church, being gathered together in unity by your Holy Spirit, may show forth your power among all peoples, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.