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"Follow me"

June 5, 2023
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Daily Scripture

Mark 1:16-20

16 As Jesus passed alongside the Galilee Sea, he saw two brothers, Simon and Andrew, throwing fishing nets into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” he said, “and I’ll show you how to fish for people.” 18 Right away, they left their nets and followed him. 19 After going a little farther, he saw James and John, Zebedee’s sons, in their boat repairing the fishing nets. 20 At that very moment he called them. They followed him, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired workers.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Mark said Jesus’ first ministry act was to call others to follow him. Why? As “God’s Son,” who else did he need? But they needed him, and each other. Scholar William Barclay said, “Christianity began with a group. The Christian faith is something which from the beginning had to be discovered and lived out in a fellowship…. the very name Pharisee means ‘the separated one;’ the essence of Christianity was that it… presented [people] with the task of living with each other and for each other.” *

  • “In the ancient world, fisherfolk were peasants.” ** Why did Jesus walk along the shores of Galilee to find followers, instead of seeking out the day’s most eminent religious experts? One outcome was that by reaching beyond his day’s “system,” Jesus found people more open to his radical ideas about what it meant to be the Messiah. In what ways does Jesus call you beyond the human system(s) in which you grew up or studied?
  • What do you think made Jesus’ invitation so compelling that, when he called, these four men would promptly leave the familiar security of their family fishing business to follow him? There are many good ways to serve Jesus today, but answering his call almost always involves making changes in our lives. This sermon series focuses on five simple habits that have the power to redefine our lives. Are you willing to follow our leader more closely by adopting these five habits?
Prayer

Lord Jesus, sometimes I’d rather not hear your call. But I have a sense that it’s a bigger risk to miss your call—so keep my ears and my heart open to you and your calling on my life. Amen.

GPS Insights

Mindy LaHood

Mindy LaHood

Mindy LaHood serves on the Worship Experience team at Church of the Resurrection. She loves all things related to worship and enjoys working with our talented team of staff and volunteers. One of her favorite things to read about and study are stained glass windows, and she considers herself very blessed to work and worship in a place with such a magnificent window.

I am a recovering perfectionist. When I was young, people praised my efforts to turn in the perfect essay or always get 100% on tests. They seemed happier and pleased when my schoolwork or job performance exemplified my work towards perfection. And although all of that striving for perfection made others happy, it made me miserable. Deep down, at an early age, I already knew that there was no such thing as perfect, and if I spent my life always trying to achieve that, I would miss out on so many blessings that can only be found in the beauty of imperfections. Furthermore, my understanding of perfect may differ drastically from someone else’s perception of perfect and it’s difficult and tiring to always be aiming for a moving target. I still like for things to be nearly perfect, but I’m not as focused on that as I am in doing my best and striving for better than before.

Max Lucado, a renowned Christian author and pastor, once said, “God loves you just the way you are, but he refuses to leave you there. He wants you to be just like Jesus.” * I love this quote because I feel like it fits me, as if it was written solely for me. The whole point of my faith journey is really to allow God to work in and through me, to transform me into being more like Christ who is perfect.

When we come to God as we are, with all of our flaws and imperfections, we are met with a love that surpasses our understanding. We don’t have to earn God’s love or try to be perfect before we come to him. Once we have made the decision to follow him and accept that call, his love continues to work in and through us transforming us into the people God created us to be.

This transformation isn’t always easy. It requires us to let go of our old ways of thinking and behaving and embrace new ways of living that are in line with God’s will. This continued growth comes through a relationship with God. As we spend time in worship and prayer, studying his Word, serving others, giving, and sharing our faith, we begin to grow and change. We start to see the world through God’s eyes, and we become more compassionate, more loving, and more humble–we become more like Jesus.

Last night, I watched the series finale of one of my favorite shows, Ted Lasso. One of the things I love most about this show is that you are able to watch a group of very imperfect people change and grow into better versions of themselves. It’s heartwarming and encouraging; and an example of fantastic writing and creativity when a show can make you laugh and cry as you become invested in the lives of the characters. Last night, one character, Higgins, was speaking to another main character, Roy. Roy is a flawed individual with perhaps the biggest transformation throughout the series. In a pivotal moment when Roy is asking for advice, Higgins said, “Human begins are never going to be perfect, Roy. The best we can do is to keep asking for help and accepting it when you can. And if you keep on doing that, you’ll always be moving towards better.” **

By continuing to come to God and asking for his help, by continuing to immerse myself in habits and practices that will help me grow in my faith, I’ll always be moving towards better–and, in doing so, become more like Christ.

* Lucado, Max. Just Like Jesus. Thomas Nelson, 2003.
** Ted Lasso. “So Long, Farewell.” Created by Bill Lawrence and Jason Sudeikis, season 3, episode 12, Apple TV+, 31 May 2023.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
References

* William Barclay, Daily Study Bible Series: The Gospel of Mark (Revised Edition). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1976, pp. 73-74.
** Eugene Eung-Chun Park and Joel B. Green, study note on Matthew 4:18-22 in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 11 NT.