Sunday, January 15, 2012

January 22, 2012

Scriptures for January 22nd: Jonah 3:1-5,10; Psalm 62:5-12; 1 Corinthians 7:29-21; Mark 1:14-20; Moving from being called to being a disciple; song: Softly and Tenderly Jesus is calling – UMH 348 Jonah: This is the only time that we read this story of Jonah and Ninevah. And if the story was not so true today, it might be funny. God gives Jonah a job to do, and instead of obeying God – Jonah walks away. He ends up in the belly of a whale, and needs to be rescued by God…in order to do what God called him to do in the first place. The text for today is not about Jonah, it is about Ninevah – that great city that he is called to save. Ninevah is probably a lot like Chicago – a city set in its ways. Jonah tells God there is no need to speak, because they will not listen. God shows mercy on the city, and the city repents of its ugly ways. People are not so bad after all. Sometimes all we need to do something differently is someone to care enough about us to be a prophet for God. Mark: This story transitions from Jesus with John the Baptist. John is eventually arrested, and Jesus realizes that now he must continue the mission. But he cant do it alone, he must have a team. This is the story of how Jesus got his disciples to drop everything and to follow him. They left behind their jobs, their families, their responsibilities. But they gained so much more in following Jesus. Who is this man that he has the power to recruit people? What is he preaching? What is he asking me to give up in order to follow him? This is a transition for us. Now that we are called, what does that mean? What do we do next? How so we become disciples? What does it mean to be a disciple of Christ? Questions: What are the sins of Chicago? How does the neighborhood of Englewood respond to the call of God? How do they respond to the request to come to church? What more needs to be done to reach them? How is the Holy Spirit at work before us, softening the hearts of the people? What do we need to do in order to be a disciple of God? Does Christ ask us to give up anything in order to follow him? What does it mean to be fishers of people? Why is it so urgent that we preach the gospel to the people?

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