Sermon Option: February 10, 2019

January 1st, 2019

Call to Worship

We are here, Lord. Now what?

Follow me!

We have dedicated our lives to study, Lord. Now what?

Follow me!

But, we have partners, families, and responsibilities, Lord.

Follow me!

The days of our lives are filled with hurriedness and important task, Lord.

Follow me!

There are bills to pay, obligations to honor, aspirations to fulfill, Lord.

Follow me!

I want to serve you, love your people, and glory your name, but really know how, Lord.

Follow me!

Can’t it wait?

Follow me!

Where? For how long?

Follow me!

Preaching Theme

Luke presents the experience of ordinary persons being encountered by an extraterrestrial agency, for in that moment, this agency forever transforms their life work. Epiphany. It is a story of call.

The fishermen did not do anything meriting such an invitation to enlist into service with Jesus. Neither did they realize the unique skills or depth of understanding they exhibited that were useful to such responsibility. Like in the case of the fishermen, “calling” oft-times is not predicated on familiarity or expertise. In fact, on paper these individuals would have not been considered qualified applicants. Most of these candidates were persons who possessed characters that were in question and skills that were lowly. Yet, God’s call is unpredictable, and is always unmerited. 

This text also teaches us that our call can avail itself at unexpected times and in unexpected places. The call narrative of the fishermen, as the text illustrates, comes not on a mountaintop or “holy” space, rather in the midst of the mundane, daily work of their vocation. God always shows up for us and to us in the right place and the right time. God’s voice may come in a booming voice or a still, small whisper.

Jesus’s invitation is not just to “follow me,” but instead commissions the disciples to service. Inherent in their respective call is the responsibility of exampling for others, just as Jesus has called and shared in exercise with them. Ultimately, Jesus’s call is for a reordering of commitments and purposes to align with word, witness, and worship to God’s end. Call is antagonistic toward and antithetical to one’s own plans, yet always aligns with God’s will and is akin to God’s promises. The fishermen must abandon their professional success of their day in favor of their divine call to serve first, not their financial commitments and obligations, but their divine imperative to serve and call others, just as they have been called by Jesus.

Secondary Preaching Themes

Typically, in theater productions, an encore is a sign of immense appreciation for an exceptional performance. The gesture signals the desire for the experience to continue—the audience does not want the performance to end. Audience members clap as they wait for the performers to reappear on the stage for an additional set. Those faithful to Christ should both expect and seek out the reappearing or evidencing of God through Jesus Christ in their lives. 

In the Corinthian text, Paul unfolds the dimensions of Christ’s series of divine manifestations. Christ shows forth in the message of good news and hope that is alive then and now. Christ is visible, not unlike other postresurrection appearances, in the practice of witness. The faithful of Christ are revisited in Jesus coming alive through us and through our worship and witness.

In verse 9, we once again see that God’s call comes to unexpected people in un-
expected places. After listing the followers visited by the resurrected Jesus, Paul admits that he is the most unlikely and unworthy to be called by the resurrected 
Jesus. God’s grace and call extend even to Paul, who has been an enemy to the church. Paul’s call serves as a model for reflection on our own response to the reappearance of Christ in our daily lives.

Benediction

Now unto God who is our word

Jesus, the Son, who is our witness

Holy Spirit, which is our worship 

Carry us forth into the world as a celebration unto YOU with our lives. Amen.

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