Wednesday, September 14, 2011
While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them. And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan. Matthew 4:18-25
Arriving in Quito late last night, we walked by the crowds of people waiting for loved ones to come through customs and be on home ground. Arms ached to embrace and balloons floated, signs held up with anticipation. I was arriving here for the first time, for a House of Bishops meeting, walking streets that my sister Pegi did so many years ago. I remember her stories and pictures from when she was an exchange student in high school in the mid-sixties. I look forward to taking in the people, the sights and sounds of a world my sister explored, and which I knew only in my childhood imagination. Despite the challenges of the journey, we have to leave home to know what God has in store for us.
Jesus walked by the sea and called his disciples from the midst of their homes, their labors and their daily lives. They are surrounded family, friends and all that is comfortable and they are called away in order to understand what God has in store for them - things they could never even imagine. The obstacles and challenges were great and the blessings were immeasurable. God invites us all to step away and follow, so that we might be God's hands in the world.
Today, I ask God to give me the strength to take each step as we follow where God leads. May our hearts be open to being followers, to miracles and healing that we could not have imagined. And may the blessings be for all, especially those who have invited us to their home.