40 Tellable Tales For Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter And Pentecost
It was on a warm Saturday afternoon, late in the spring of 1911. I'll never forget the day. I had just returned from my regular Saturday fishing excursion with old Doc Hallister. We hadn't caught any fish - we rarely did - but we enjoyed each other's company. Doctors and morticians have many things in common. I used to kid him that my job was to bury his mistakes, and he used to accuse me of hovering around his office door like a vulture. This incipient black humor was just between us: a way of coping with the stresses and tensions of our work.
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As Jesus calls his disciples it seems like he has a criterion for the people with which he wants to surround himself. It may not always be obvious in the Biblical account, but Jesus is careful to choose people who are really committed to his message. With their help, Jesus will be able to do more and spread the word about God farther.
There are always difficulties in Christian ministry, at whichever level you're involved in it, from church cleaner to the Archbishop of Canterbury. There's always someone who'll find fault, and if like the Archbishop, you're a subject of media interest, then I should imagine Christian ministry can be very difficult indeed and perhaps something of a burden.
In today's Gospel text, Jesus calls for repentance, expects Peter and Andrew to drop their nets and follow him, and calls James and John to leave their Father Zebedee in the boat without so much as a "So long, see you later."
My task today is to issue that same call to repentance, that same call to radical obedience and decisive discipleship. For that call is urgent and cries out to be issued in all of its majesty and might.