So now our next texts in Epiphany center on this invitation to journey with Jesus. Will we walk with him for the furtherance of God’s Kingdom? Discipleship was Jesus’ idea long before it was ours. In love, he reached out to us, called us by name, and invited us to be part of his move out of the mud of the Jordan and into the fields of his laboring. Isn’t it amazing that he immediately began recruiting ordinary people? Judging by what Jesus demonstrated, expansion of God’s love by us is the mark of the church.
Theologian William Willison said that any church that is not growing is not a fully faithful church. Gulp! He further adds that this growth has to be accompanied by a restlessly probing of the world, a reaching out with Christ into the needs of others, and a curiosity about what new “beachhead” Christ has obtained lately. That is, the church must be mission over management. When a church is more interested in keeping itself as an “aquarium,” and just feeding its own fishes, Jesus comes along to remind us that church is more about fishing for others.
Take it up with Jesus if you disagree. So many of his stories in Epiphany are about growth. He is forever inviting and calling. I’ve realized more and more in my life that I don’t need answers as much as I need Jesus. Our questions of God are not nearly as interesting as God’s questions of us. Let’s start with this question…Will we follow Jesus?
PS: It is a rare opportunity for a Pastor to sit in the pews at his home church and Worship. Thank you for this time! Dr. Lloyd has been preaching on MLK Sunday for many years and still produces a thoughtful and energizing sermon suitable for this special Sunday. We are a blessed congregation – in many ways.