|Theme:||Following Jesus - Proper 16(21) Yr. B|
|Object:||None is needed. (You could play "Follow the Leader")|
|Scripture:||"You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God." John 6:67-68 (NIV)|
When I was a child, "Follow the Leader" was one of my favorite games. Have you ever played "Follow the Leader?" Of course you have! "Follow the Leader" is a game that is played and enjoyed by children all over the world.
The rules are very simple. First, you choose a leader. Then you follow him wherever he goes and do whatever he does. You stomp through puddles, climb over fences, or swing from a tree -- all to stay in the game because nobody wants to be a quitter.
"Follow the Leader" is a great game, but in our daily lives we play follow the leader too. In school, in Church, in sports, in any activity in which we may participate, there are always leaders. Every day we choose which leader we will follow.
One day Jesus was teaching in the synagogue and he said to the people, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. He who feeds on this bread will live forever." That was a difficult teaching for some to understand. When they heard it, they said, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?" Some of them quit following Jesus after that day.
Jesus knew that many people were grumbling and complaining, so he turned to the twelve whom he had chosen to be his disciples and said, "You don't want to leave too, do you?"
As usual, it was Peter who spoke up. "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God." The disciples had answered the call to follow Jesus. They were not about to turn back now.
There is a song that some of you may know called "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus." It goes like this:
Have you decided to follow Jesus? It may not always be easy, but once you have decided to follow him, there is no turning back.
Dear Jesus, you have called us to follow you. May we answer, "Yes, Lord, I'll follow you -- no turning back, no turning back." Amen.
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