So, to all my preacher friends, I'd like to extend an invitation. That is to share what you will be sharing in the upcoming Sunday in worship. My hope is that we can encourage each other, challenge each other's thinking, and overall make each other better. Are you game?
This Sunday I am beginning a sermon series entitled, "Answering the Call". From now until the end of the year, I'll be looking at various stories in the Bible of people being called to do something big for God and/or for people.
I'm beginning this Sunday with the first disciples. The texts I'll be using are Luke 5: 1-11 and John 1: 35-51. I heard a great sermon by Rev. Dr. Joe Daniels of Emory UMC over the summer on the Luke 5 passage. One of the points he made that I really liked was that the disciples left the thing they considered a blessing, the huge catch of fish, to follow after something bigger. He made the point that God might have something bigger for us than that thing we think of as a blessing. I was worried when he started because he sounded like he might be going in a prosperity gospel direction, but then he challenged the congregation to give up their places of comfort (those things we think are blessings) to be of service to the world. It was very good.
The thing I like about the John passage, other than that it is obviously a completely different origin story for Peter, is the intimate knowledge of the disciples that Jesus has before he calls them. We tend to think of calling as an active call to service. But there is also a passive call to let ourselves be known and to understand that despite the fact that we are fully known, we are fully loved.
The thread I see tying these together is that something has to be dropped to follow. Whether it's our old activities or our old attitudes, something has to be left behind to follow God.
That's not much, but that's where I'm starting. What do you think? What are you preaching on this Sunday?