Scriptures for January 23rd: Isaiah 9:1-4; Psalm 27:1, 4-9; 1 Corinthians 1:10-18; Matthew 4:12-23. Theme: Fishers of men: song: Softly and Tenderly Jesus is calling UMH 348
1 Corinthians: Paul is writing the Corinthians to address their problems in hopes that they will be able to correct themselves, if they are told the right thing. The biggest problem among them is unity. No one is willing to look beyond themselves in order to see the big picture. We can only be the body of Christ if we are willing to work together. Paul first tells the church that they are blessed and that they have been given gifts- God’s grace in order to be in ministry. The issues that Paul addressed back them, are still prevalent today. Paul had the task of addressing an issue that was going on in the church for years, that was just the way things were. But he knew that Jesus could always change things. We still have to learn to get along with people that we don’t want to be bothered with. Yet we are not alone in our struggle, we always have the spirit of Christ in order to be the body of Christ.
Matthew : As Jesus goes out into the world to begin his ministry, the first thing he does is to recruit 12 disciples. All of these men were going on about their normal lives, not expecting tomorrow to be any different than today. And Jesus comes to them with an offer, to witness the messiah for themselves, but to have the same power to transform. His invitation is instead of fishing for fish, to fish for men. And see others come and accept that same invitation. As he recruits disciples, he also goes throughout Galilee teaching. There were many non jews in Galilee- this would have been a place of darkness, but Jesus knew through his words that he was spreading light to the world. His disciples would soon be doing the same thing.
Questions: What are the major issues that affects the overall Christian church? Will we ever go beyond the divisions of denominations to be a united church? What will it take for that to happen? What was it about Jesus that made the disciples drop their lives and follow him? What was it about Jesus that made others stop to listen to him? What it is that we can do to make others follow us today?