Life is full of choices. If you’d like to speak to a customer service adviser press *1. If you’d like to listen to some awful music while you wait press *2. If you’ve dialled the wrong number then this call is costing you an arm and a leg per minute. We’ve all experienced it!
Our Old and New Testament readings today confront us with more choices. Joshua gathers all the people together for a ceremony to renewor ratify the agreement (the covenant) they had made with God when they agreed to be his people. From time to time it is useful to be reminded of just what you have signed up for.
And Jesus, too, offers the disciples and us a choice. You’ve heard what I’ve had to say about eating and drinking my flesh and blood; so are you going to follow me or are you going to look for someone else?
Following Jesus, making the decision to model your life on his teaching, is not a maintenance-free choice. It’s not as if we make it and then fly on automatic pilot for the rest of our journey in faith. It’s something that needs to be renewed constantly. It’s not a static decision; it’s a dynamic choice.
We’re constantly renewing this choice for Jesus. We’re tempted and have to make conscious decisions. We’re faced with doubt and have to summon up the vestiges of faith. Under mockery from family or friends we choose to keep our Christian heads held high. When we struggle with prayer we try to keep on going.
But the greatest sign we can give that we are persevering in our choice to opt for Jesus’ promises is when we gather together each Sunday to share communion with God and each other. For the liturgy is our way of ratifying the new covenant which Jesus offers through his death and resurrection.
Just as Joshua and the Israelites renewed their covenant in today’s scripture reading, so too we take part in a weekly renewal of our agreement with God. Our “Amen” makes it clear that there is no one other than Jesus to whom we would wish to go.