While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. Matthew 4:18-20
Routines are nice. They give us structure. They define order for us. They even discipline us to stay on track toward our goals.
But it is also easy to loose track of what the routine serves. This often happens with the routine of worship. We sometimes ask, “Why are we here? What is the purpose for our gathering and fellowship?” It is good sometimes to focus on what is important.
The importance of our gathering in public worship, including the supper, the sermon, the singing is all about being with God. It is that simple – and that complex.
It begins at the font and everything flows from there into eternity. For us the gathering of the baptized, life itself, is about our call to follow Christ. Everything we do serves that fact.
Students – When you study a subject or read a book or learn a concept, you are unveiling a little piece of God and His work. How will you understand the fit between God and knowledge?
Parents – When you sacrifice your plans, or time, or health for the sake of caring for your children you are doing godly work. How will you know the way He wants you to do it?
Spouses – When you are facing all of the stresses of living together as a marriage, how will you keep God’s blessing as the first priority of your union?
And for all of us – When you are tired, when you are having a bad day, when your job isn’t working, and your friends don’t seem to care. When anything is less than the way you want it to be, how will you know that you are loved and it will all be OK in the long run?
It begins at the font and everything flows from there into eternity. That is what we call discipleship.
Notice Jesus’ command to Simon and Andrew got an immediate response. They immediately were separated by Jesus command from their old life. They left their nets and followed him.
These men left their business, their family, their homes, their plans, their stuff, trusting that the calling one would provide what they needed to successfully follow.
To let God be the owner is not to live in poverty or destitution or even denial of good and comfortable things. To live as a disciple finds purpose in your relationship with God. To live as a disciple means to care for all things in your life from the assumption that everything belongs to God and that God chose you for this special purpose.
The nets we drop and the lives we leave are the spiritual uncoupling of our need to be God, to be in control, to carry the burden alone. And the means of keeping focus on the right relationship is shown to us by Jesus in His human relationship with the Father in heaven.
Jesus prayed. Jesus spent time with His Father. Jesus let His Father’s strength gird His own. Jesus trusted His Father’s word to keep Him on the path of His mission – to save humanity from its sinful desire to live without God.
This is the routine of worship. In the liturgy we join with the history of the church in word and song bending our will to the will of the Father acknowledging His authority and our failure to follow. In the liturgy we hear promise, and absolution, and hope and are formed to go where He goes to serve God and neighbor.