"As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him." These departing disciples followed Jesus to a point, but when they encountered a teaching they didn't like, they decided to leave. That was their free choice. And Jesus respected their freedom by letting them go. Then, he turned to the Twelve Apostles and asked,"Do you also want to leave?" Thankfully for us and the entire history of Christianity, Peter replied, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."We have the same choice to make. Will we follow Jesus no matter what, or will we abandon our faith in him if his ways become too uncomfortable? Our decision, too, makes an impact on history. What we choose--how we live our lives,how wewitness to the world around us, how we minister to our friends and neighbors, and how we raise our children--all makes a difference. If our faith only goes as far as our comfort zone, then our witness will be a weak one. But if we stand firm, aligningourselves with Christ even when being Christian means being unpopular or counter cultural, then we will make a difference.We won't just be swept along in a stream of indifferent, lukewarm people who are more interested in maintaining the status quo than in living a life that bears witness to the truth.In today's Old Testament reading, Joshua speaks about choices to the Jewish people. He urges them, and us, "Decide today whom you will serve." And then, he courageously declares, "As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." May we have the courage of Joshua to make the right decision and stay faithful to the Lord.
We are blessed.