I want to follow Jesus!”
╬ The words of this wonderful hymn frame the life of true discipleship. We have heard Jesus’ call to “Follow,” the blessed invitation to make the journey of life in step with him. In this Pentecost season – the time of the church – the people of God seek to live out all that Jesus has revealed about God … the way and the truth that leads to life. The good news is that we don’t make that journey alone. We go together, in the company of one another, filled with the Spirit and walking the path with the One who has come to make all things new.
╬ “Built On Rock!”
Jesus’ questions hang in the air: “Who do people say that I am?” “Who you say …?” And Peter’s stunning profession rings out … “Christ!” … “Messiah” … Son! Peter names God’s redeeming work embodied in Christ: the revelation of God the Son, incarnate, with us. And what’s more, on the power of this revelation – the divine act of coming among us, as one of us – we can build gather a community of faith against which no power of chaos or destruction can prevail.
PRAYER OF THE DAY ---------------------------
God of life and all creation, you give us the ultimate gift of yourself, incarnate in Christ. May we draw strength for living from this bedrock of our faith and embrace our calling as your people in this time and place. Amen.
First Reading: Isaiah 51:1-6
1 Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness, you that seek the Lord. Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug. 2 Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you; for he was but one when I called him, but I blessed him and made him many. 3 For the Lord will comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places, and will make her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song. 4 Listen to me, my people, and give heed to me, my nation; for a teaching will go out from me, and my justice for a light to the peoples. 5 I will bring near my deliverance swiftly, my salvation has gone out and my arms will rule the peoples; the coastlands wait for me, and for my arm they hope. 6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and those who live on it will die like gnats; but my salvation will be forever, and my deliverance will never be ended.
1 I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise;
2 I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness; for you have exalted your name and your word above everything.
3 On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul.
4 All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth.
5 They shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord.
6 For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly; but the haughty he perceives from far away.
7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies; you stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers me.
8 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.
Second Reading: Romans 12:1-8
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God — what is good and acceptable and perfect. 3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. 6 We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; 7 ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; 8 the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.
Gospel: Matthew 16:13-20
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" 14 And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." 15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." 17 And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." 20 Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.