January 22, 2023: Wherever We Are

Third Sunday after the Epiphany

Wherever We Are

Many people have favorite places in their lives where they feel closer to God, or where they believe they can more easily recognize God’s voice and calling. I’ve heard people describe how they have felt closer to God at church camp, in their church sanctuary, in a majestic cathedral, by a lake, on a mountaintop, or elsewhere in nature.

But Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee and called to Peter and Andrew as they were casting their nets into the lake: “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately, they left their nets and followed him. Then, Jesus saw two other brothers, James and John, and he called to them. Immediately, they left the boat and their father and followed him.

For me, it’s a comfort to know that Jesus can meet us wherever we are and still calls to us—whether we are hard at work, with our families, or at a beloved location. It’s a comfort to know that Jesus says, “I will make you . . . ,” to the fishermen, reminding us that even if we aren’t entirely sure what being a child of God exactly means, in faith we will learn over time what it means, and we will find ways to respond to God’s call.

The early disciples “immediately” left their nets and followed Jesus. Despite their individual struggles, despite their failures and fears, they were able to live the gospel in their own lives and stories. May we listen and hear God calling to us in our everyday lives, and may we continue to find ways to live the gospel in whatever time and place we find ourselves. May God grant to us the eyes and the ears of faith to hear God calling to us, day after day, wherever we are.

John G. Rights, pastor, Friedland Moravian Church
Winston-Salem, North Carolina