getting out the WORD

the 3rd sunday after epiphany

the PRAYER. . .

Lord God, your lovingkindness always goes before us and follows after us. Summon us into your light, and direct our steps in the ways of goodness that come through the cross of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

the READING. . .

And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” 

Matthew 4:12-23

the DEVOTION. . .

Making disciples! That’s what church is all about, nowadays. Making disciples who make disciples! It’s our response to that long, steady decline we’ve been going through here in the U.S., over the past couple generations. Our attempt at stemming the tide and reversing the trend. Reading the bible! Saying the prayers! Singing the songs! That’s the agenda, the recipe. Only problem … that’s not the way it works!

For the longest time, I’d hear Jesus say, “Follow me,” and imagined he was extending an invitation. “Follow me … if you want! Follow me … if you can! Follow me … if you have nothing better to do!” This time, however, when I read the words, I heard something different and I wondered if “making disciples” wasn’t more like … in the beginning. When the word went out and didn’t return empty! Went out and did what it was supposed to do! Creating! Giving life! Making new! Jesus says, “Follow me,” and, immediately, Peter and Andrew follow! Not because they wish to or want to. But simply, because that’s what the word accomplished. Disciples aren’t constructed; they’re created! God speaks – Jesus speaks – and we become! God speaks – Jesus speaks – and we are!

Bob Barndt, pastor