United Church has a tradition. They were known for supporting their pastors very well. Any pastor who has ever served at United will verify the truth of this tradition. Pastors, for example, consider it a privilege to serve in this congregation deep in the heart of Texas. Pastor Mike Snyder surely did. Pastor Mike, as everyone called him, had had a kind of love affair with this congregation throughout his nine years of service at United. The feeling was mutual. The people of United felt uniquely blessed by him as well.
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.