Sunday, January 26, 2014

Follow Me


When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
"Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali,
on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles--
the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light,
and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned."

From that time Jesus began to proclaim, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near."
As he walked 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 fish for people." Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people.
Matthew 4:12-23

I grew up around fishermen and learned much about that life was young. It isn't an easy life, but rather much hard work, rough weather challenges and lots of mess. It is not for the faint of heart or the fussy. It is a life that demands long hours and much sacrifice, and there is always danger. I now live where much of the town makes a livelihood from fishing. It is not a life for the glamorous or the lazy. You have to go all in and put your whole self into it.

Matthew's Gospel was written for a Jewsih audinece and throughout the Gospel he reminds people of the ancient stories and prophecies. He understands their perspective and their understanding of traditional roles. By telling this story of the calling of the fishermen, Matthew's Gospel reminds us that the Son of God was calling people from a very different place than the traditional roles. Those who followed Jesus, those who would be his disciples and friends would not necessarily come from the learned class. Jesus was calling those who were willing to be all in. And for any of us who thinks we are not worthy, we can look to the first disciples and realize that God calls all kinds of people and makes them God's own.

Today I ask God to help me be a good disciple and to say yes. May we not hold back because of our personal limitations, but rather, say yes to God. May we get up and follow trusting that God will supply what we need for today in the service of others.

The Collect

Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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