Answering the Call

Theme: Jesus calls us to follow him - 3rd Sunday after Epiphany (Yr. B)
Object: A telephone
Scripture: And Jesus said to them, "Follow me and I will make you fish for people." And immediately they left their nets and followed him. Mark 1:17-19 (NRSV)

What do you do when there is an an emergency? Let's say, for example, that someone has a serious injury or illness, and if they don't get help right away, they might die. What would you do? Right! You'd pick up the phone and call 9-1-1! (Substitute the appropriate emergency number for your area.)

When you call 9-1-1 and tell the person who answers that you need help right away, it is their job to see that you get help. That person would never say something like, "I'm sorry, we are really busy right now, maybe some other time." No way! They drop whatever they are doing and make sure that you get the help you need.

In our Bible story today, Jesus was walking along beside the sea of Galilee preaching the good news of God when he made a call for help. He saw Peter and Andrew throwing a net into the water, because they were fishermen. He called out to them, "Come, follow me and I will teach you how to fish for people." You see, Jesus wanted Peter and Andrew to help him teach people about God's love for them. When Jesus called Peter and Andrew, they didn't say, "Not right now, we are busy fishing. Maybe some other time." No way! The Bible tells us that they left their nets and followed Jesus.

Jesus, Peter, and Andrew had gone a little farther when they saw James and John sitting in a boat mending their nets. When Jesus saw them, he called to them, "Follow me." They didn't say, "Not right now, we're busy mending our nets. Perhaps some other time." No, the Bible says that they left their father sitting in the boat with the hired hands and followed Jesus.

Jesus is still calling for help today. He has called you and me to help him to bring others into God's Kingdom. Is it an emergency? It sure is! It's a matter of life and death! The Bible says, "Unless you repent, you will all perish." (Luke 13:3) Jesus has called us, what will we say? What will we do? I hope and pray that we will drop whatever we are doing and answer the call.

Dear Jesus, we want to be faithful to answer your call. We want to fish for people -- just like Peter, Andrew, James, and John. Amen.

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