June 19 is one of those Sundays when many North Americans celebrate a secular holiday, Father's Day, and preachers must decide how extensively -- if at all -- the holiday should affect our planning for Christian worship. In this issue of The Immediate Word, Carter Shelley raises this question and then comments on the image of fathers in the First Reading and the Gospel assigned in the lectionary. Her colleagues on the team also point out the rather striking fact that many biblical families are rather poor role models for families today, except perhaps in negative ways.
UPCOMING WEEKS In addition to the lectionary resources there are thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
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.