Today's Lectionary Text
After John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee announcing God’s good news, saying, “Now is the time! Here comes God’s kingdom! Change your hearts and lives, and trust this good news!”
As Jesus passed alongside the Galilee Sea, he saw two brothers, Simon and Andrew, throwing fishing nets into the sea, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” he said, “and I’ll show you how to fish for people.” Right away, they left their nets and followed him. After going a little farther, he saw James and John, Zebedee’s sons, in their boat repairing the fishing nets. At that very moment he called them. They followed him, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired workers.
Come follow Me. Right now. At that very moment. Every time I read this passage it is those three phrases that I repeat over, and over, and over. My calling into the ordained ministry is as fresh on my mind today as it was in 1986. I had known since age 12 that I would be the ministry – I knew it yet didn’t want it. I had a life filled with sports; I was set as far as I was concerned. One Sunday night, as I was sitting on the back pew during worship – everything changed. It has been a journey for sure, yet I wouldn’t change God’s call on my life for nothing in the world.
It only took me 26 years to decide to follow Jesus. The words right now and at that very moment were not a part of my vocabulary. Each time I read this passage I am amazed at the immediate response from Simon, Andrew, James and John. I missed out on a lot of years of ministry because in my mind, only church staff were the ministers. They were paid to do it! (I know many of you have thought that or still think that.) It was not until I took Disciple Bible Study (after seminary) that I caught it.
What I caught was – Jesus is calling every single one of us, no matter of our age. Not everyone is called into the ordained ministry, yet everyone is called to follow Jesus. We are called because it takes every one of us to be intentional about transforming our communities, states, nation, and world for Jesus Christ. That is what being a disciple is all about!
Discipleship must be intentional if we are going to make a real difference in our communities and elsewhere. Intentional means that when Jesus says, Come follow Me, we respond right now, at that very moment. The work of a disciple is life-changing! It’s anything that we do in our daily lives that is done with God’s love as the motivation to make change in our world, with the emphasis of sowing the seed of the gospel by what we do and/or say. If we desire real change in our communities, state, nation, and world, then we must answer the call to be and to make disciples.
I cannot help but believe that when Jesus says Come follow Me, if our action would be right now, at that very moment, instead of waiting for someone else to answer the call, we would truly live life with all people equal and united.
-Rev. Hollie Tapley
Disaster Response Coordinator
Prayer for Reflection
Teacher, thank You for Your call upon our lives. We are a changed people because of Your love and gift of grace. Remind us, that the call is now our call. Remind us that we are ones to be and make disciples. Amen.
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