Jesus has some pretty harsh words today for people who intend to follow him. It's going to be hard at times and it will take your full attention and commitment. If we're honest, we know that we fall short, especially on the last thing. We know that just as Jesus showed mercy toward the village who wouldn't receive him, so he shows mercy to us who receive him imperfectly. Still, let us re-commit ourselves and seek again to follow him.
Let us pray.
Christ, who gave everything in order for us to follow you into life, hear us as we pray. We thank you for your gracious gift of freedom from sin and death, bought with great price. We thank you for these symbols of that sacrifice that remind us of your commitment to your children. As we take this bread and cup, fill us again with your Spirit, Lord, that we might take up again the task of following you. Work in us to more perfectly show your likeness to a world that dearly needs to see you.
In the name of Jesus, our Risen Lord, Amen.