A clear theme emerges from the lectionary texts for the Second Sunday in Lent -- how we deal with our enemies and (more broadly speaking) evil in the world. In the Genesis passage God tells Abram not to be afraid because "I am your shield," and tells Abram that "your reward shall be very great" (i.e., the covenant). In the gospel reading, Jesus confronts this issue directly when he pointedly refuses to flee the area where he is teaching and healing, even though he is warned by some Pharisees that Herod is plotting his demise.
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.