Tag Archives: Invitation

Come With Me

When you have a job that needs doing, you need the right tools.  Some jobs can’t be done alone, and so we need the right people to help us.

Jesus needs the right people to help him.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Matthew 4:12-23 (CEV)

Jesus Begins His Work

12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he went to Galilee. 13 But instead of staying in Nazareth, Jesus moved to Capernaum. This town was beside Lake Galilee in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14 So God’s promise came true, just as the prophet Isaiah had said,

15 “Listen, lands of Zebulun
    and Naphtali,
lands along the road
to the sea
and east
    of the Jordan!
Listen Galilee,
    land of the Gentiles!
16 Although your people
    live in darkness,
they will see
    a bright light.
Although they live
    in the shadow of death,
a light will shine
    on them.”

17 Then Jesus started preaching, “Turn back to God! The kingdom of heaven will soon be here.”

Jesus Chooses Four Fishermen

18 While Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw two brothers. One was Simon, also known as Peter, and the other was Andrew. They were fishermen, and they were casting their net into the lake. 19 Jesus said to them, “Come with me! I will teach you how to bring in people instead of fish.” 20 Right then the two brothers dropped their nets and went with him.

21 Jesus walked on until he saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in a boat with their father, mending their nets. Jesus asked them to come with him too. 22 Right away they left the boat and their father and went with Jesus.

Jesus Teaches, Preaches, and Heals

23 Jesus went all over Galilee, teaching in the Jewish meeting places and preaching the good news about God’s kingdom. He also healed every kind of disease and sickness.

‘Turn back to God’,
that was his cry.
We heard him,
though we weren’t sure what he meant.
How could we turn back to God,
I’m not sure we’d ever turned
from him.
We might not be as religious
as we could be,
but we believed in God,
of course we did.

Then it all became much more personal,
no longer a general cry to the crowds,
he came
specifically
right over to us.
We were minding our own business,
getting on with our fishing,
doing what we’d always done.
Jesus came and said,
‘Come with me’.
He told us nothing about where we were going,
just that we were going to fish for people
instead of fish.
What on earth does that mean?
Who knows,
who knew…
But do you know,
we went with him,
we left everything we had,
our business,
our livelihood,
everything.

There was something about Jesus,
something that just meant
that you couldn’t ignore him,
we had to go and find out more,
see what it was all about.
Our nets would still be there tomorrow.

As we went along,
he called to two more,
come and join us,
come and see.
They left all their stuff too,
and their dad.

So off we went.
Who knew what kind of adventure we were on.

Lord,
when I hear your call,
may I respond,
leave what I am doing
to follow your invitation
to come with you

In simple trust like theirs who heard
Beside the Syrian sea
The gracious calling of the Lord,
Let us, like them, without a word
Rise up and follow Thee.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SWU-KuFjXI

Advertisements

Joseph #adventbookclub – Day 28

The Birth of Jesus

18 This is how Jesus Christ was born. A young woman named Mary was engaged to Joseph from King David’s family. But before they were married, she learned that she was going to have a baby by God’s Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph was a good manand did not want to embarrass Mary in front of everyone. So he decided to quietly call off the wedding.

20 While Joseph was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord came to him in a dream. The angel said, “Joseph, the baby that Mary will have is from the Holy Spirit. Go ahead and marry her. 21 Then after her baby is born, name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 So the Lord’s promise came true, just as the prophet had said, 23 “A virgin will have a baby boy, and he will be called Immanuel,” which means “God is with us.”

Surely, for Joseph to discover his betrothed is pregnant, there is only one conclusion to draw.  And it can’t have been a pleasant experience to have to do so.

The woman you loved, who you thought you were going to make a future with, and yes, have a family with, is now pregnant – and you know it is nothing to do with you.  But Joseph, kindly, doesn’t want to humiliate Mary further, to make her already embarrassing situation even worse.  So he decides to just quietly call things off, for the wedding just never to happen.

Mary knew she was going to have a baby “by God’s Holy Spirit”, but Joseph didn’t know that.

The BBC broadcast an amazing version of The Nativity a couple of years ago.  That showed Joseph having a real dilemma.  He loved Mary, but could not come to terms with what he assumed she had done.  He gave her a real hard time about it, over a sustained period of time.

Then God comes to him, reassured him that Mary has done nothing wrong, and lets him in on his plan.  This is the one who is going to save people – all people.  And God needs Joseph to be a part of that.

I can’t begin to imagine what Joseph’s feelings on that were.  He knew it was nothing to do with another man.  He realised that Mary was blameless in it all.  But…

I wonder if Joseph thought it was nothing to do with him?  Just something between God and Mary, of which he had no part?

Or perhaps he didn’t feel up to the task of raising God’s son, the responsibility of having him in his life?

But he does.  He listens to God’s word and he takes on the task God is calling him to.  To support Mary, to welcome God into his home.

Maggi sums up the Christmas story for me (p125)

God became like us, so we could become like him

just wow!

Joseph was big enough to let God into his life, into his family, into his home – that the same thing may be possible for us.

Thank you Lord
for the bravery of Joseph,
open to hear your call,
even when it seemed
naive,
potentially embarrassing,
quite outside the “right” thing.

May I be so brave,
so welcoming,
so open;
that you may come
and live in my heart,
home
and life

God With Us – Emmanuel

This year, several of us are reading Beginnings and Endings by Maggi Dawn and joining together to comment on it.  Do join us at the Adventbookclub Facebook page, follow #adventbookclub on Twitter or comment below.  If you are also reading and blogging on this book, let me know and I will link to your blog.

God’s Invitation #adventbookclub – Day 20

Luke 1:34-38 (CEV)

34 Mary asked the angel, “How can this happen? I am not married!”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come down to you, and God’s power will come over you. So your child will be called the holy Son of God. 36 Your relative Elizabeth is also going to have a son, even though she is old. No one thought she could ever have a baby, but in three months she will have a son. 37 Nothing is impossible for God!”

38 Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant! Let it happen as you have said.” And the angel left her.

As Maggi reminds us (p94), Mary’s response to Gabriel, to God, was not an immediate unqualified yes.  We can run away with the idea of Holy Mary, willingly and unquestioningly accepting God’s will.  But she didn’t.  It took time to sink in. There were questions to be asked, things to be clarified – not least of all

How?

She is allowed the time.  The questions are gently answered.  God does not steam-roller, but invites and gently allows it all to sink in.

This is a great encouragement to me.  God isn’t looking for our unthinking following and acceptance.  That is not what faith is.  Faith is going with it, even when we aren’t sure how it will all pan out.  Faith is trusting God, even when the plan seems crazy – but going into it with our eyes open.

Asking God questions is ok.

In the long run it helps us to understand him better.

God calls Mary to be the mother of Jesus, he doesn’t compel her.

There is almost the sense that while Mary ponders and questions and considers, heaven waits with bated breath (p95)

God calls and invites, he waits for his people to respond.

Lord,
I hear your call.
I don’t always understand it,
can’t work out how it can happen,
wonder what the effects will be.
Help me to respond
in faith
and trust.

Thank you
that you allow us to question,
to ponder,
to make a decision.
That you are not a God of coercion
but of invitation

The Annunciation

whilst this is not entirely my theology, it contains some very interesting and powerful thoughts

This year, several of us are reading Beginnings and Endings by Maggi Dawn and joining together to comment on it.  Do join us at the Adventbookclub Facebook page, follow #adventbookclub on Twitter or comment below.  If you are also reading and blogging on this book, let me know and I will link to your blog.