Monday, January 20, 2020

Looking Ahead to January 26, 2020

The Scripture Reading this week is Matthew 4:12-23

The Sermon title is Gone Fishing!

Early Thoughts:  What would happen if the Word-Made-Flesh showed up at your workplace? What if someone walked in while you were working and said "I have a better offer, leave this all behind and come with me right now"? What if the word 'better' was missing from that invitation?

This story possibly asks more questions than it answers, which may be why we read a version of it almost every year.
  • why did Jesus choose them?
  • why did they drop everything and go?
  • did they have a clue what was ahead of them?
  • what did their families think?
Answers to none of those are in the text. To a large extent these questions are never answered in the rest of the Gospel either.  For the most part they remain a mystery (other than the 3rd question -- I think it is safe to say they did not have a clue).  Still we have the story. We still we see people respond to a strange invitation with strange haste.

Jesus must have seen something in these fishermen by the sea. They must have seen something in Jesus. And what was seen led to them being called and, in turn, answering the call.

Which does bring us back to the question at the top. If Jesus showed up in the middle of your daily life and said "got something for you to do, come on!" how would you react? I suspect most of us would want more details first. After all it is only prudent to get more information before totally changing our lives. What would make the offer so intriguing that we would jump in without further investigation?

Usually in our culture Gone Fishing (or maybe Gone Fishin') is about leisure. It evokes images of escaping/running away from the trials and tribulations of daily life for a relaxing day on the lake. But if you make your living catching fish it has a very different meaning. Jesus is not inviting an escape from the world. Jesus is inviting hard work as these people will interact with the world in a new way.

I think Jesus offers us the same invitation. Following Jesus is not an escape from the world's troubles, following Jesus means engaging with the world and its troubles.  And we may not get a lot of information about what is coming.  Will we drop our nets and follow? Or will we pretend we don't hear?

1 comment:

  1. Lots of good questions to "ponder"....thanks for the invitation.