The mission of God
Matthew 4: 18-22 (NRSVA)
18 As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the lake—for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.’ 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21 As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.
When Jesus called the disciples, he called them to leave their trade and take up a new trade, fishing for people. Clearly, for this new role, the skills and tools that they would require would be very different from the ones that they had been using up until that point. In the same way, when Jesus calls us, he gives us new skills and new tools to do whatever job it is to which he is calling us. Today, I think this is particularly relevant as we listen for the voice of God in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and seek to understand the new Ministry which he has for us going forward. We have all developed tools and skills to live the Christian life up until this point. But when this period of lockdown ends, we will not go back to the way things were. Even if life was to go back to what we think of as normal, it will take a long time, by which time so much will have changed that it will never be the same again. It is almost certain that our church life will have changed.
We have learned new skills in this period of lockdown. Which of these will we take forward? We have found a new way of being church in this period of lockdown. How will this affect us in our mission in the future? God is speaking in this situation, do we have ears to hear?
thank you for inviting us to join in your great endeavour,
the salvation of all humankind.
Thank you for calling us,
for changing us,
for giving us tools
to enable us to work with you in your great mission to the world.
In the midst of this crisis,
as the world as we know it mutates before our very eyes
help us to hear your voice,
guiding us into the future.
Help us to see you on the road in front of us
leading us in new paths.
Give us vision,
give us wisdom,
and most of all,
give us courage to follow you, Amen.