Third Sunday after the Epiphany
Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things
Author, pastor, and teacher David Lose expresses the theme of our text for today in a beautifully concise way: Jesus called ordinary people right in the middle of their ordinary lives to do extraordinary things . . . and he still does.
The first disciples called by Jesus were fishermen; and when he called them, they were, not surprisingly, practicing their craft— fishing and taking care of their nets. Immediately, without asking questions, they dropped what they were doing, left their father and their fellow fishermen behind, and followed him. In fact, two of the men Jesus called that day ended up becoming his closest friends. One of them, Simon (Peter) became one of the leaders of the Jesus movement that matured into the church.
Fishing for a living, then and now, is hard work. It consumes all your time, it gets you dirty, and sometimes it puts you in harm’s way. For these men, “fisher” was not just a job; it was a way of life. Yet, when Jesus called, they walked away from life as they knew it and began to do things they had never dreamt they could do. They applied all their fisher skills to the new task of fishing for people—to the new task of spreading Jesus’ message of love and justice and reconciliation. And yes, it still took all their time, got them dirty, and sometimes put them in harm’s way.
If we agree that Jesus is still calling ordinary people in the middle of their ordinary lives to do extraordinary things, how do we respond to that call? The answer is probably different for each of us, but no matter what ordinary task defines our way of life, we can be sure that following Jesus will change the way we do what we do.
Jeff Van Orden, pastor, Palmyra Moravian Church, Cinnaminson, New Jersey