Login / Signup

Free Access

Professional Allowance Sale - Save $131!

The Calling of the First Disciples; the Call to Repent!

Lectionary Worship Workbook
Series II, Cycle B
Pastoral Invitation

Again, God, the Evangel, has invited, has called us to worship. We, God's evangels, have said, "yes." God has called us to no spectator sport. The liturgy, that is, the order of worship, is defined as "the work" (and I add, the play) of the people, not the production of the pastor, church secretary, or musicians. So, as always, as God's evangels, we work and play in worship, in order to work and play in our vocation, education, socialization, and recreation. In one sense, the liturgy is to brainwash us. Let's understand: our math teacher brainwashes us with the multiplication table; our English teacher brainwashes us with the alphabet; our chemistry teacher brainwashes us with the valence chart. Now, we come to worship this Epiphany Sunday, so the Holy Spirit will brainwash us to receive and share the Good News.
P: Speak, sing, shout praises to God the Evangel.
e: We speak, sing, shout praises to our Evangel.
P: God is the Evangel of all the earth.
e: We, God's evangels, speak, sing, shout praises with thanksgiving, for the joy of our calling as Christ's evangels.

Hymn for the First Half of Epiphany

"From a Distant Home." (Remind the people that this is our hymn of the month for the first half of Epiphany.)

Prayer of Praise

In this prayer, continue to focus on God, the Evangel. Perhaps someone in the congregation would be willing to prepare the prayer. Do ask well in advance. And remember, children and youth also are members of the church.

The evangels Face Up To Themselves

Introduction to the Act of Recognizing Our Humanity

Jesus said, "Repent, and believe the Good News." For two minutes, I invite you to write down your description of the first image that comes into your mind when you hear the word, "repent." (Wait two minutes.) Ask for responses. Now, for two minutes, write down what you need to do to repent. (Wait.) Ask if anyone wants to take the risk of responding. (Wait.) For the truly courageous, share one of your own. Proceed with caution.

After another minute of silence, sing "Agnus Dei," by Herbert G. Draesel, Jr., from The Genesis Songbook (see Appendix I for address). Have the people read it silently, then together, then hum it, finally sing it. Ask the people if they believe that God has forgiven them; and if so, how will this make a difference in their lives this coming week.

Introduction to the Act of Receiving New Life

Harvey Cox, in his book, The Secular City, has said that the modern equivalent of repentance is the responsible use of power. In the light of Cox's statement, consider, silently, your act of confession and repentance. (Two minutes.)


"How Blest Are Those," Fred R. Anderson, 1986; harm. George Ratcliffe Woodward, 1904.

The evangels Respond To God's Good News

Message with the Children of All Ages

Have your parents, whatever age, ever said to you, "Repent!"? Of course they have. How? (Wait a few moments.) Remember when they said, "Pick up your clothes. Brush your teeth. Don't waste your money on the slot machines. Take care of your animal." Make your own list. The word "repent" means to change your thinking and behaving; and when Jesus said that, he promised his presence with us to help us change.

Reading from the Scripture

Stimulate the calling of the disciples. Have Jesus and the disciples dressed in today's clothing. You may also want to have four people, two men and two women from the congregation, receive the call from Jesus.

Proclamation of the Good News

Compare or contrast the lapel-grabbing approach, "Are you saved, brother, sister?" with Harvey Cox's approach to repentance. Perhaps you have had someone use the former approach. I have; and it seemed as though the fellows were simply interested in collecting another scalp for Jesus. Jesus, in this passage, indeed is inviting the disciples to take responsibility for their own lives, so they can make a difference in God's world.

Stewardship Challenge

The stewardship of change: Thomas Gordon, in his book, P.E.T., says that "it is idiotic to assume that anyone can be alive and not be changing." Contrast this with the seven last words of the church. "We've never done it that way before."

Hymn of Commitment

"Lord, You Have Come to the Lakeshore," Ces‡reo Gabar‡in, 1979; trans. Gertrude Suppe, George Lockwood and Raquel Ach----n, 1988; harm. Skinner Ch‡vez-Melo.

Charge to the Congregation

When Jesus calls us, from whatever hiding place we choose, thinking that we're safe, he always calls us to give our lives away -- for the right reasons, causes, even when, especially when, we want to set aside his agenda to make it easy for us. God's Christ disturbs me, pushes me to change, to get out of my Egyptian slavery into the Exodus wilderness; to set priorities, God's priorities; to remain dissatisfied with the status quo. "Those who lose their lives for Christ and the Gospels will discover their true identity" (WHK).

Response to the Benediction

"Ready, Lord!" Richard Avery and Don Marsh, from The Second Avery and Marsh Songbook. (See Appendix I for address.)


Are you ready for the future, which begins now? If you are not ready, how will you get ready; for we ready ourselves by default or decision, by inertia or energy, by apathy or action, by complaining about or by accepting change (WHK).

Music Possibilities In Addition To Those Already Suggested

Music for Preparation and Dismissal: Medley of Epiphany hymns.

Hymn of Praise: "Fairest Lord Jesus," Silesian folk melody, 1842; trans. Church Chorales and Choir Studies, 1850; alt.

Response to the Act of Recognizing Our Humanity: "Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God," Jim Strathdee, New Wine, First Edition. (See Appendix I for address.)

Response to the Proclamation: "There is a New Wind Blowin'," words and music by David Yantis, from New Wine. (See Appendix I for address.)

Hymn of Commitment: "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind," John Greenleaf Whittier, 1872; Frederick Charles Maker, 1887. (For those concerned about sexist language, change "mankind" to "all of us.")
In addition to the lectionary resources there are thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
Signup for FREE!
(No credit card needed.)
Epiphany 2 (OT 2)
28 – Sermons
110+ – Illustrations / Stories
32 – Children's Sermons / Resources
25 – Worship Resources
31 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Epiphany 3 (OT 3)
20 – Sermons
110+ – Illustrations / Stories
26 – Children's Sermons / Resources
21 – Worship Resources
33 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Epiphany 4 (OT 4)
34 – Sermons
120+ – Illustrations / Stories
35 – Children's Sermons / Resources
23 – Worship Resources
29 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Epiphany 5 (OT 5)
34 – Sermons
100+ – Illustrations / Stories
30 – Children's Sermons / Resources
26 – Worship Resources
27 – Commentary / Exegesis
4 – Pastor's Devotions
and more...
Plus thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
Signup for FREE!
(No credit card needed.)

New & Featured This Week


John Jamison
After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.

The Immediate Word

Katy Stenta
Mary Austin
Christopher Keating
George Reed
Bethany Peerbolte
Dean Feldmeyer
Thomas Willadsen
For January 24, 2021:

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Wayne Brouwer
Recently, British researchers discovered that 42 percent of the church-goers in that country fall asleep during the sermon. The numbers may be astounding, but the habit is as old as Eutychus’s fatal nap in Acts 20.

Even the great eighteenth-century evangelist John Wesley noticed that a number of people in his congregation were fast asleep. Without a warning, he suddenly broke his train of homiletic thought, and yelled out at the top of his voice, “FIRE! FIRE!”
Bonnie Bates
Bill Thomas
Mark Ellingsen
Frank Ramirez
Jonah 3:1-5, 10
On New Year’s Day, 1929, Georgia Tech played University of California in the Rose Bowl. In that game a man named Roy Riegels recovered a fumble for California, but became confused, however, and ran 65 yards in the wrong direction. One of his teammates outran him and tackled him at their own one-yard line. Cal attempted to punt on the next play, but Tech blocked the kick and scored a safety.


John E. Sumwalt
Frank Ramirez
“Yes, God Speaks to Us Directly” by John Sumwalt
“Not Getting Any Credit” by Frank Ramirez

Yes, God Speaks to Us Directly
by John Sumwalt
Psalm 62:5-12

On God rests my deliverance and my honor; my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.” (v. 7)

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott

One of the interesting features about this story of the calling of the first disciples, is that they all immediately left everything to follow Jesus. It was as though they instinctively knew where they would find life with a capital L.

Donovan Duckling is instinctively tied to his mother's apron strings. When the time is right, will he have a strong enough desire to cut those ties?...


Constance Berg
The prophet Jonah was commanded by God to go to Nineveh; Joel Fil‡rtiga was inspired to go to Paraguay. Jonah knew the journey and its destination would not be kind; Paraguay has not been kind to Joel Fil‡rtiga. Jonah obeyed God's call and went to Nineveh, even though he knew he it would be difficult; Joel Fil‡rtiga obeyed God's call and went to Paraguay, and his life would never be the same.
Richard E. Gribble, CSC
Once upon a time, a diamond was born. He was nothing striking, but rather rough, like the rest of his family. He lived in the darkness and was very content to do just that. As a young diamond he heard tales of how some of his ancestors had left the darkness to a place of light, but that didn't concern him. One day he began to hear noise in the distance, and it came progressively closer. It was the sound of machinery with men talking and often yelling over the roar of the equipment. As time progressed, an opening was made in the cave where he lived.
James R. Wilson
Call To Worship
Leader: Let the redeemed of the Lord gather this day for worship!
People: We were once condemned by our sins and now we know the mercy of God.
Leader: God sent the prophets to call us back into God's will.
People: And God is true and faithful to all who hear and obey the Holy Word.
Leader: Let us proclaim the righteousness of the Lord for all the world to hear!
All: Blessed be the name of the Lord!


Special Occasion