Sermon Notes for Sunday 10th. February 2019.
Lord of Light, shine upon these words the very truth of your being, that we may read and be brought into deeper relationship with you. Amen.
Isaiah 6:1-8 (9-13). In the year King Uzziah Dies, Isaiah has a vision of God’s glory in the temple, where he is cleansed and he responds to God’s call. Then God tells him to say to the people that they won’t learn or understand. When he asks how long this will be for, God answers that it will continue until the country is a wasteland, but that Israel’s stump will be a holy seed.
Psalm 138. The Psalmist praises God for God’s love and faithfulness, and God’s promises, declaring that all the kings of the earth will praise God, for God is great. In the Psalmist’s troubles God protects from enemies and will work out God’s plans for the Psalmist’s life.
1 Corinthians 15:1-11. Paul reminds the believers of the Good News that Jesus died, was buried, and was raised from the dead on the third day. He was seen by Peter, and the twelve, and by over 500 followers. He was also seen by Paul, who considers himself the least of the apostles. He declares that he is what he is by the grace of God.
Luke 5:1-11. Jesus preaches on the shore of the sea of Galilee and when the crowds press in on him, he steps into a boat and asks Peter to put out from the shore a little. Then he tells Peter to go out and drop his nets to catch fish. Peter complains that the disciples have worked all night and caught nothing, but he agrees to go anyway. When they catch a great catch, Peter responds in repentance, and Jesus calls him to follow. So Peter, James and John leave their nets and follow Jesus.
The Reverend Tania writes,
After last week, in which the wonderful “yes” of God was explored alongside the challenging “no”, the Lectionary now challenges us to decide what to do with God’s invitational and confrontational grace. On the one hand we are called to receive this grace in our own lives, and enjoy the freedom it brings. On the other hand we are challenged to become participants in God’s gracious work as God calls us to follow God’s alternative way of being and share that way with those around us.
In all of this week’s readings there are two strong themes that emerge. The first is that God calls women and men to follow God’s alternative way of being, and to share the Gospel with others. In Isaiah, we read the famous call story. The Psalmist is confident that God will work out God’s plans in the Psalmist’s life. Paul reminds the Corinthian believers both of the Gospel that has been preached to them, and of Paul’s own calling in sharing that message. And in the Gospel reading from Luke, Peter has his life-changing encounter with Jesus in which he is called to become a “fisher of people”.
The second theme that stands alongside this one is that of grace. Isaiah’s message is not a comfortable or particularly comforting one, but it does include an assurance of God’s mercy and grace. The Psalmist praises God for God’s gracious promises, and trusts in God’s grace to save the Psalmist. Paul proclaims very strongly his conviction that he is what he is only because of God’s grace, and even in Peter’s call there is the awareness in Peter of his unworthiness, and yet the wonderful grace of Jesus as he basically ignores Peter’s confession and calls him into service.
May our worship this week challenge us to receive both God’s grace and God’s call to be agents of that grace in the world.
Prayerfully, Rev. Tania.