When I was asked to reflect on the reading from Mark, I read it through and my first thought was that I had spoken in Church about this before today. In those days when we were able to sing, we all sung a chorus from a long time ago – “I will make you fishers of men” – A lot of mums and Grandmas and Grandads in front of me were smiling as they sang.
My next thought, again not for the first time, I wondered how these two lots of brothers could just leave their families and friends and follow this man just because he called them to come with him. These men were fishermen, probably poor and just doing the jobs their fathers had always done. What was it that made them go with Jesus? They must have seen him and maybe heard him talking to people around and about the place so they would be curious to know what he wanted them for. Perhaps they thought it would be a better and maybe a more profitable life for them. I find it really hard to imagine being at work with my father. Or anyone else for that matter, and just stopping what I was doing and walking away from it. These four men were the first people called by Jesus to be his disciples. I think that they probably felt that they were going to have more power and authority and respect. They knew that John the Baptist had said that Jesus was mightier than he was. They must have been sure that they were going to go up in the world.
So Jesus called ordinary people like you and me and I am sure that, had they known what would follow, they might not have followed so quickly. We are all called to follow Jesus and we all let him down. The disciples he chose were anything but perfect.
They often misunderstood him, they often hesitated to follow him, Judas betrayed him and Peter denied him three times. But these were the people who would continue his work on Earth after he had gone – ordinary people like you and me. They were called —.
We have all been called and we all at some time in our lives decided to follow.
We are all still here together in these very difficult times, wondering what lies ahead, but there were never any guarantees – never any certainties – never anything to assure us that our lives would be any different because we had followed Jesus except – and this is the BIG EXCEPT – he forgives our sins and is always with us and loves us all and will never leave us, even in the bad bits.
I’m going to end by reading three verses of a hymn which we would sing, if we could sing!
Jesus calls us! o’er the tumult
Of our life’s wild, restless sea,
Day by day his voice is sounding,
Saying, “Christian follow me”
In our joys and in our sorrows
Days of toil and hours of ease,
Still he calls, in cares and pleasures,
“Christian, Love me more than these.”
Jesus calls us! By your mercies,
Saviour, make us hear your call.
Give our hearts to your obedience,
Serve and love you best of all.