Transcript of on-line service for Kilrenny Parish Church Sunday 24th January 2021.
Monday 25 January 2021
Order of Service for Sunday 24th January 2021
Welcome to worship with the community of Kilrenny Parish Church. We may not be able to worship in the Church building at this time, but we can still come together as a worshiping community give thanks and praise God.
This morning I am testing my technical abilities by including the hymns as part of this recording, so bear with me as I pause to click the appropriate buttons. Hopefully this will work!
Call to Worship
Lord Jesus, you call us to be your people in this place. Give us a sense of your power in our lives, your love in our hearts, and your joy in all we do. Join with us now as we worship you this day.
Hymn CH 340 When Jesus saw the fishermen
Opening Prayer & Lord’s Prayer
Let us pray:
Lord God, this is Your day.
We have used the other days of the week
To our own advantage,
But today we are at Your feet,
We are at Your disposal.
And all You ask of us is a song on our lips,
A smile on our face,
A dance on our feet –
The rightful response of a people
Brought back from the cold into the sun,
A people claimed and named again
As the travellers of the highway:
A people loved into life and rescued from ruin.
See, here we are:
Some of us glad for the week gone by,
Some of us grieved at the way it treated us,
The grind more obvious than the gladness,
The grudge more quick to arrive
Than the pleasant face of the sun.
But here we emerge from all our shadows into the light,
Here we encounter truth and the life we need.
If we do not want to be dazzled,
If we do not want to be revived,
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Yes, gentle King of the Cradle at Bethlehem,
King of the Cross at Jerusalem,
King of the morning,
Dawn on us once again we pray,
Star of awaking,
Star of promise,
Star of our true direction,
We give thanks for Your promise and Your love for us.
And now, we join our voices together in the Prayer Jesus taught us:
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
Reading: St Mark 1: 14 – 20
After John had been put in prison, Jesus went to Galilee and preached the Good News from God. “The right time has come,” he said, “and the Kingdom of God is near! Turn away from your sins and believe the Good News!”
As Jesus walked along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw two fishermen, Simon and his brother Andrew, catching fish with a net. Jesus said to them, “Come with me, and I will teach you to catch people.” At once they left their nets and went with him.
He went a little farther on and saw two other brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in their boat getting their nets ready. As soon as Jesus saw them, he called them; they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and went with Jesus.
Amen. The word of God for the people of God.
Hymn CH 191 Do not be afraid
Reflection: ‘The right time has come!’
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of each of our hearts be acceptable in your sight Lord, amen.
Last week we heard the story of the calling of Philip and Nathanael. This week we return to Mark’s Gospel and the most famous calling of all: that of the fishermen Simon, Andrew, James and John. It’s a dramatic scene, with these four men working at the lake shore on their boats and Jesus appearing and turning them away from their work to follow Him.
Two questions come to mind: why did Jesus begin His mission at that point and why did He choose these men?
Our reading begins not with Jesus, but with John the Baptiser. We are not told how long John had been preaching in the desert in Judea, but he had become famous for his message of repentance. That notoriety would have taken months or possibly a couple of years to develop. To become noticed by the crowds, to attract a following in those times didn’t happen overnight. There was no social media to create instant recognition: rather word of mouth, person to person news travelling slowly through the Holy Land.
Theologians speculate that Jesus may well have been a follower of John’s before He struck out on His own after His baptism, and that might well make sense, fitting in with the notion of John preparing the way for Jesus to offer a greater message of God’s redemption not just repentance. John’s message became unpopular with the authorities, and particularly Herod, who feared John’s prophetic message and eventually had him arrested. This may well have been the moment that Jesus felt was right to step out of John’s shadow and begin His own ministry.
Growing up near Lake Galilee, Jesus would have known many of the fishermen and their families. He would have been known for His exceptional character and a sense of ‘holiness’: by which I mean not so much that He stood and preached like those street-corner preachers so many of us avoid. Instead, I imagine Jesus was one of those people who don’t need to speak in order for you to be drawn to them. Jesus didn’t need to preach for you to know He was special, He would have embodied all that was Godly in the best possible way, everything about Him would have spoken to those around Him that He was destined for greater things.
Our fishermen, Simon, Andrew, James and John, had probably known Jesus for many years. They may have been friends with Him, listened to Him at late night meetings on the shore, gone with Jesus to hear the Baptist preach. All of this is speculation, and it doesn’t diminish their actions in leaving their nets to follow Jesus when He called them. To my mind, it enhances their commitment to Him and His calling that, knowing Him as well as they possibly did, they left everything they had and everything they owned to follow their friend and teacher.
In a world where insecurity was a way of life, where having a roof over your head and a regular income were key factors, not just for an individual but all of their family, upping and leaving everything you’ve worked for to follow an itinerant preacher would seem like madness then: just as it would to us today!
So, we’ve explored why Jesus might have begun His own mission at this point, and we’ve said something about why these four men chose to follow Jesus, but why did Jesus choose them?
I suspect friendship would have been part of the reason, but Jesus also needed people to support Him in His task. Notice I said “to support Him”, not that He needed supporters. The distinction might be subtle, but I think it is important.
Supporters often follow their idol or their club or tribe blindly: displaying loyalty without reason. Having people to support you is different. They are there for you as well as you being there for them. They can question, offer opinions, be constructive, be annoying, not always agree with you, but still offer you their support because they realise you need them as much as they need you: loyalty of a different order I think.
So maybe it wasn’t so much that Jesus chose them and called them: just maybe, they chose Jesus as well and because of their support He felt able to begin His mission with a group of supporters He could trust and rely on.
They would sometimes annoy Him, irritate Him and even exasperate Him, but they also enabled Him to complete His mission. He needed them, just as much as they needed Him. Isn’t that always the way with true friends? Isn’t that the most human thing in the world? And it is still true to this day: Jesus calls us because He knows we need Him, but He also needs us to complete the circle and to continue His mission, even today!
Amen, and may God add His blessing to these words
Hymn CH 248 For my sake and the Gospel’s go
Prayers of Intercession
At the name of Jesus, something releases us,
Something unlocks the tongue.
At the name of Jesus, something begins in us,
And we do not know its name,
So we call it a dozen names.
At the name of Jesus, we pause before an open door:
We have been here before;we have never been here.
For He has wonders untold to tell us,
And miles to go with us
And the sea will dry up before He has finished His tale.
And so, in the moment it takes to speak His name,
We grow into fresh maturity
And we realize how far, this far,
He has waited for us to catch up with Him:
How long, this long, He has willed us to speak,
Willed this start to startle us,
Willed this knocking at an open door
Which He never shuts, in case we come early or late,
Ready or flustered, bold or bashful.
At the name of Jesus, we know
We have much to be sorry about.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
At the name of Jesus, we know
we have much to be glad of.
So let us travel, under authority
But the amazing authority that wants
Only the best for us.
So let us start again,
Not anxious for anything save that
We fear to miss the wonder.
So let us know that the open door
Is home, even when we spurn it.
And let us not fear to wander and get lost,
For had we not got lost we would
Never have had to look for the new road.
Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the infinite peace to you
These things we ask in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Kilrenny Parish Church, Kirk Wynd