The Tuesday night prayer meeting was in full swing. They had begun by singing several of their favorite choruses, with great enthusiasm even if not entirely on key. They went on with voluble prayers both in English and in tongues, and with the utterance of many prophecies. In all, the occasion was everything the group had come to expect it to be. Joyous singing and heartfelt prayers filled their ears and fed their spirits. But when Harry Jones rose and said, "Friends, let us be silent for a while," the group reacted nervously, and each one looked to another wondering what was now to happen.
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As Jesus calls his disciples it seems like he has a criterion for the people with which he wants to surround himself. It may not always be obvious in the Biblical account, but Jesus is careful to choose people who are really committed to his message. With their help, Jesus will be able to do more and spread the word about God farther.
There are always difficulties in Christian ministry, at whichever level you're involved in it, from church cleaner to the Archbishop of Canterbury. There's always someone who'll find fault, and if like the Archbishop, you're a subject of media interest, then I should imagine Christian ministry can be very difficult indeed and perhaps something of a burden.
In today's Gospel text, Jesus calls for repentance, expects Peter and Andrew to drop their nets and follow him, and calls James and John to leave their Father Zebedee in the boat without so much as a "So long, see you later."
My task today is to issue that same call to repentance, that same call to radical obedience and decisive discipleship. For that call is urgent and cries out to be issued in all of its majesty and might.