This sermon can be listened to here

Gate Pa – Epiphany 3 2015
Psalm                         62:5-12                                                
First Reading:             Jonah 3:1-5, 10 
Second Reading:                    1 Cor 7:29-31  
Gospel:                                    Mark 1:14-20 

What I want to say and what I want to happen:
Use the Jonah and Mark readings to reflect on our calls and to ask what we might be invited to this year

What I want to happen:
People to share stories of call, and to reflect on how they are called now.

The Sermon

      1.     Introduction:

theme readings is call – Jonah and Mark
appropriate as begin new year.
chance us take stock
these stories offer us a chance reflect on our own call – individuals
            and as church
ask how called now, what might be invited to this year.

      2.     We Are All Called

We are all called
long time used say clergy called to “the ministry”
lay people would help them in that ministry
            heard clergy say that when young priest
            call was often seen as clergy thing
gifts charismatic renewal rediscovery that all people
rediscovered priesthood of all believers
call first occurs in baptism
we are all called
we all have ministries
I would go so far as to say
            no ministry is more important than others
            (mine is not more important that anyone else’s)
not say all same
wonderful array of ministries
all important
all called by God.
also say not one call
            call is ongoing thing
called into ordained ministry
`           into youth ministry
            out youth ministry
            be Franciscan
            into parish ministry and then to here
could go on
so today as we listen to stories
            offered opportunity to remember our own callings
            as start new year
            reflect on how live those callings out

      3.     Jonah

first reading Jonah
never intended to be history book
no person call Jonah who swallowed by whale
Nineveh was never as big as described
Assyrians never repented
Satirical book that pokes fun at Jewish leadership and others
            narrow thinking around who in and who out
            what their role was as part of in crowd
            and where God fitted in all this.
supposed to be so ridiculous that funny
as people laugh think – “o talking about me”.
God’s truth in story – rather than historical event
so we have this very self righteous and confident man of God
very clear about who deserves offer salvation
Assyrians aren’t on his list
response to his call by God is
“not a chance. God, you got this all wrong”
and he runs in the other direction, removing any possibility of him ever being able to do this wrong thing he is being asked to do
I wonder when we have responded to a call like that
Not me
you got the wrong person
or I don’t even think this should be a thing that happens
reminds me when people first suggested to me think about ordination
not part of my life plan
responded by stopping going to church
that would fix it
like Jonah
didn’t work
here I am today
when have you felt call and turned away
            how has that led to where you are today?

      4.     Story

Then we have the four first disciples.
what is interesting about story is that it comes right at the beginning of the Gospel
One common ways first line Gospel is understood
            The beginning of good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God
refers to whole Gospel
story of Jesus is beginning of good news
importance those first disciples is that they then become part of good news
that good news was continuing on to hearers of Gospel
-         were now part of good news
-         we are part good news as well.
It is not about Jesus alone
but all those he invited and gathered into the story

      5.     Yes

we are told
            without delay –say yes
we could speculate on why said yes
            even helpful
not point
point is that they said yes.
seem know deep heart that this was right thing to do
left all that was known to them
and all that was expected of them
when I finally said yes to ordination – it was that kind of moment
training to be teacher
knew that would only be short time
just took long time to get there
as maybe Andrew might taken while get there
at moment said yes
when you said yes – as disciples did
knowing deep heart right thing

      6.     Other times

if I was to tell stories of when called – all be different
some sudden and unexpected
some gradually came over time as I opened myself up to possibility
sometime not get call something thought great at
            end call isn’t about me and what I am good at
            it is – Jonah reminds us – all about God
            what God does through us.

In next few minutes invite you use these stories think about times you felt or heard call
talk neighbours about
maybe talk about how called now  and what that might mean for this new year.


Anonymous said…
Maybe extend your remarks to include Jesus' take on Jonah

He answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.

40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.

42 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom, and now one greater than
Solomon is here.

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