Dear Church Family and Community,
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” – Matthew 4:19
What are some of your earliest musical memories? Is it a lullaby that a loved one sang to you? Is it a jingle from a favorite TV show or a commercial that always got stuck in your head? Is it an instrument you or someone else played? I’m not sure what exactly my first musical memory is. I know that music has always been loved and appreciated in my family. We have instrumentalists, singers, composers, and directors in our family. I also know that while I am able to greatly appreciate music, all of that musical talent surely skipped over me!
Every single day, I am grateful to God for so many things. One little blessing is God’s call for us to make a joyful noise. This I can do very well. Trust me. Singing on key? Not so much. Again, trust me. But coming before the Lord with thanksgiving and songs of praise? We can all do that. We all should do that because God has been so good to us. God loves us. God’s face shines on us and gifts us grace, peace, and compassion for all of our days.
One way I learned to sing before the Lord with all of my heart was through the chorus, I Will Make You Fishers of Men. I do not remember how young I was when I first learned this song. I vaguely remember we had accompanying motions. My most concrete memory of this song, though, was that we sang it with our whole heart. And I sang it because I fully believed that I was to follow Jesus. And that following Jesus meant both trusting and relying on him, and living and loving to welcome others into God’s family.
This song is taken directly from the gospel story of Jesus calling his first disciples. This story is significant because it introduces us to the beginning of the ministry and work of Jesus and the people he would entrust with taking his gospel into our world. This is accentuated by the fact that each gospel writer retells it from their perspective. To prepare for this week’s worship service, please take time to read through Matthew 4:18-22, Mark 1:16-20, Luke 5:1-11, and John 1:35-42.
As you read these stories in each gospel, ask and answer the following questions?
How are the stories similar?
How does reading all four versions make the story more complete?
What do the disciples learn about Jesus?
What does it mean to follow Jesus?
As you may have certainly figured out by now, this week in our Following the Commands of Christ sermon series, we will be focusing on Christ’s invitation for us to follow. Following Jesus is certainly a foundation to our faith and how God calls us to live. Most of us as Christians are deeply committed to following Jesus as both what we believe and how we live. I believe that as we review the calling of Jesus’ earliest followers, we will receive and/or sharpen some new tools in helping us to be faithful disciples today.
Fundamentally, we cannot follow God if we ignore what Christ asks of us. My prayer for us this week is that we continue to follow Jesus by saying, believing, and living that Jesus is Lord over all of our lives. Jesus is Lord for us means that we will follow and do, because Jesus says so. Jesus is Lord means trusting and relying fully and in all things. Jesus is Lord means following Jesus in word and deed, in good and bad, today and forever.
God bless you all, and take care.
Love in Christ,
P: (717) 561-2170, ext. 104
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