In this weeks Gospel of Mark, Jesus is beginning his ministry. Mark describes how Jesus walks along the shores of the Sea of Galilee, spots the brothers Simon and Andrew fishing and calls them to drop what they are doing and follow him. In this telling of the gospel, he walks further down the beach and calls to James and John. They too, drop their nets and follow Jesus. Fishermen leave their lively hood to follow a rabbi starting a new ministry.
This passage has always posed a dilemma for me. I have raised this dilemma many times as an in EfM (Education for Ministry) mentor. The question or dilemma is; If Jesus were to walk up to me, while I was teaching my students, would I drop everything and follow him to be a part of an unknown ministry? Today, in 2018 I don’t know if I would do what the first disciple had the faith to do.
In today's world, we are so busy with meetings, deadlines, writing this or that report, running children to school or sporting events, so busy with the business of life, would we even hear Jesus’ call to us to be his disciple?
As an Episcopalian I am often challenged by the sign carrying Evangelists that are often seen following the Rose Parade. If Jesus called me to follow him, would I carry a sign proclaiming Jesus as Lord on the parade route? At this point in my spiritual journey, I’m not sure I would have the conviction to demonstrate my faith in such a manner; Sign carrying is not a way I feel comfortable answering Jesus call towards discipleship. There are other ways that I can demonstrate Jesus’ presence in my life.
I have discovered, over the years, that being a Christian, a disciple, a follower of Jesus is not just going to church, sitting in a pew, singing hymns, listening to the sermon, then going home with not much more expected of you. As Christians we are called to be Jesus’ disciples, to help bring others to Christ, maybe not by being a sign carrier, but by living our our baptismal covenant.
At the recent ordination of new priests, the Epistle reading noted that we are all given gifts to do God’s work. We are called to discern what each of our gifts are and how we can use them to reflect God’s presence in our lives and help others know God.
This week I ponder if I hear always hear God’s call and if I can appropriately answer the call when I hear it. If EfM there is a practice of developing a collect following a reflection. This is a collect to pray when considering this weeks gospel.
Dear God: the One that calls us to be your disciples. You have given each of us gifts to demonstrate your love others. We pray that we hear your call to us and learn to use the gifts given to us. So that we will reflect your love to all we meet. Amen