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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Friday, February 16, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | Mark 1:14–20

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him. (NRSV)

It’s almost unimaginable. Let’s try to imagine it.

A man in town is proclaiming, “The time has come. The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

But you have a job. You’re working, surrounded by your everyday tools—imagine your phone, your spreadsheet, your coffee mug.

Jesus enters your cubicle and says, “Come follow me, and I will send you out to fish for people.” Of course, you’re not fishing, so he sees your spreadsheet and says, “Come, and I will send you out to account for people’s souls.”

At once you obey! You roll your chair away from your desk and head for the elevators. Your father is in the next office, and you leave him behind, too. In that moment, you join the transformation of human history. Can you imagine?

Simon, Andrew, James, and John did not know who Jesus was that day. Yet they followed him. They learned who he was, helped his ministry, shared his table, and loved him in his daily life. Thanks to them and the cloud of witnesses who followed, many of us have loved Jesus since we were children, and we rest soundly in his love for us.

Imagine that day. Would we abandon our tools? Maybe, but perhaps it was Jesus who called us to our work. Would we walk away from our families? Maybe, but Jesus commanded us to love one another as he loved us. How do we discern God’s call?

Jesus, help me know you. Let me hear your call in my life’s dramatic moments. Help me do your will in my everyday actions. I want to be like Simon, Andrew, James, and John. I want to be your friend. Amen.

Written by Gretchen Wahl, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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