When the days drew near for Jesus to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, "Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?" But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village.
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."
This week we have watched as a talented chef and TV host with a great following fell from grace by her own hand. Over and over again, when we worship individual people they will disappoint us. We are so captivated by their stardom, we regularly miss their humanity. And we miss our humanity and our vulnerability, thinking we know better than God at times.
Jesus has his face set for Jerusalem and invites the disciples to not get caught up in revenge or politics - who slighted whom - but rather to follow him without turning back. They are reluctant, wanting to tend to their daily business, thinking they know what is best. We too often respond to God with a "yeah, but..." God invited us today to be people who look forward and not back, to be people who trust in God and not in our own humanity and pettiness. We are invited to see the bigger picture, even with our limited vision, and invited to lean into the plow trusting God to supply the harvest.
Today I ask God to help me keep my eyes ahead and lean into the work that is ahead. May we not be reluctant to trust God, turning over all our cares and concerns to the one who hold us close. May we be fearless in our forward looking attitude, knowing that God goes before us, even to the rockiest roads we might find.
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.