February 28, 2021
Bulletin & Hymns:
All through the Lenten season, we’re looking at scenes in Mark’s gospel that speak to what it means to be disciples following Jesus. We begin this week where we left off last Sunday, Jesus has come out of the desert and returned to Galilee to begin his ministry and call the first disciples. May God bless our reading of the Word:
- In Luke’s gospel we have Jesus’ first ‘sermon’ happening in his hometown of Nazareth as he reads the scroll of Isaiah in the synagogue (Luke 4:18-22). How is this message similar to his first proclamation (actually Jesus’ first spoken words) of the good news here in Mark: ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news’ (verse 15)? Which part of Jesus’ message is speaking to you most in this moment?
- What do you think Jesus was thinking and praying as he walked along the shoreline? When was the last time you walked on a beach? Why do you think people are drawn to the places where the water meets the land? What is special or peaceful or intriguing about the shore?
- Simon (Peter) and Andrew grew up in a fishing village; it’s clear that Zebedee, James’ and John’s father, is also a fisherman. These boys would have been out on the boats, learning their trade from the time they were children (likely around 10 years old). They would have spent years learning to navigate the lake, read the currents, watch the weather, mend the nets, note the fishes’ movement… everything they needed to help provide for their families and village. This is their whole livelihood. Yet, they’re willing to “immediately” (verse 18 & 20, a favorite word of Mark’s) drop everything and follow after an itinerate rabbi! Why? What about Jesus do you think they found so compelling? What makes you want to follow Jesus? What would you be willing to lose or what have you given up to be a disciple? How long would you need to think about a decision like that?
- Fishing takes a lot of patience and persistence. In Luke, we hear Peter tell Jesus that they have “worked all night but caught nothing” (Luke 5:5). What qualities of fishermen do you think also made Peter, Andrew, James, and John good disciples? Reading this and knowing other stories about Peter, do you usually think of him as patient or impulsive? What do you think the proper balance is between ‘looking’ and ‘leaping’ in the life of faith? How do we practice that balance as individuals and as a church?
As we seek to be disciples, may we be patient and discerning as we listen to the Spirit’s direction in our lives; and yet, may that never delay or quell our zeal and commitment to Christ’s ministry and mission!
Grace and Peace to you all,
Pastor Maggie Rust