Third Sunday after the Epiphany
John is handed over to the authorities and Jesus came into Galilee proclaiming that the time is full and the kingdom of God is near. Jesus was preaching, “Repent and believe in the good news of God”
Why is the time full? Because Jesus is present.
Why is the kingdom of God at hand? Because Jesus is present.
How do we experience the fullness of time and the kingdom of God? Being in Christ. How do we share the fullness of the time of God’s promises and how do we share the in breaking into the world of the kingdom of God? We share Jesus and His message, “Repent and Believe in the good news of God!”
As Jesus calls His first disciples He sees them alongside the Sea of Galilee. Jesus comes along two sets of brothers. First Simon and Andrew and then immediately (Mark loves that word) Jesus calls James and John. In the sets of brothers that Jesus meets we find two parts of fishing. Jesus saw Simon and Andrew casting their nets into the sea. Makes sense to me since they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
So one thing is for certain. Fishing can be talked about only so much, at some point the nets have to be cast into the sea.
The next set of brothers Jesus comes up are James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They are in their boat with their father. They are mending the nets. Jesus called them and they immediately left their father Zebedee.
Mending the nets is important. If we spend all of our energy in casting the nets but never spend anytime taking care of the nets, well we will end up with a pretty messy tackle box.
Seelsorge is a German word that describes soul care. I think this word does a good job capturing the responsibility of the Christian to spend time mending the nets.
Of course I don’t mend my soul, just to mend it. I mend my soul so I can cast out into the world the good news of God. The Christian church is called out of the world to be sent to the world enriched with the good news of God.
Repent and Believe. This is the two-fold sermon of Jesus as he entered Galilee. Mending and Casting. I think in many ways all of my sermons should be both about mending our sin sick souls and casting the good news into the world.