"Will you come and follow me?"
This week during worship we looked at Luke 5:1-11, the calling of the first disciples, and we especially reflected on those passages using a hymn sometimes called "The Summons" or Will You Come and Follow Me.... Katie and Michael taught us each verse of the hymn and we talked about the individual questions the hymn asks, like "Will you leave yourself behind?" and "Will you love the you you hide?" which gave the scripture more context for me. We also talked about the calling of these disciples in relation to the Book of Jonah (which has also come up in the UWorship lectionary recently). Below is a meditation I wrote recently for those UKirkians using the UWorship lectionary... you can find other meditations and more on the lectionary UKirk uses (UWorship) at the national website: ukirk.org :) ...there's lots of great stuff on that site. We post samplings, but check it out sometime!
MEDITATION: The big catch of fish and the blessed miracle of not tipping the boat over is really amazing here... but what catches me most off-guard is the last six words, "they left everything and followed him." Luke doesn't say anything else, which implies that the disciples didn't text their parents or guardians (my Mother would kill me), turn in their homework assignments, stop at an ATM, or even do something with all those fish. They just left! Who does that? Contrast their immediate response to Jesus with some of the responses from the prophets we meet in the Old Testament. Take Jonah, for example, who takes his sweet time getting to where God has called him to go. Jonah is more my speed. I got things to do. Places to go. People to see. And God, as Jonah notes, often calls us to places we don't want to go, with people we don't want to meet, and things we don't want to do. So what's the hurry, fellas? One of the better explanations I've heard is that all of the disciples Jesus called, especially these blue-collar-at-best fisher bros, were all people no one had ever called on before. And when you've never been called, and your phone finally rings, with miracles on the other end, you go. You leave. You don't wait. You don't stall with something else you need to do first. What if I saw Jesus that way? What if I saw Jesus as the first person, place, thing to ever call me? That's accurate, God chooses us before we choose God... and truly schedule changing. I might miss turning in that homework assignment -- at the very least it would move down my list of priorities.
FOR DISCUSSION: Do you identify more with Jonah or with Simon? What might you be called to do today?
LINKS/OTHER RESOURCES: There are multiple graphic novel versions of Jonah... my favorite is: The Unlikely Chosen, which also includes Amos. It's a great translation and you can buy it on Amazon for less than $14.