Sermon – 02-06-22 – Epiphany 5 – Cycle C
Scripture: Isaiah 6:1-8; Psalm 138; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Luke 5:1-11
Sermon Title: Calling Me?!
Being Called! I frequently hear people saying, when we forget their name, “You can call me anything as long as you don’t call me too late for lunch or supper or dinner or a dish of ice cream.”
We can be called on the telephone, on a loudspeaker. We can be called “out” in a baseball game. Since I have come to Womelsdorf and Robesonia, I have heard people being called by the most awful nicknames simply because of some incident that happened to them in childhood. Called for the rest of their lives. People even forget the real names because the nicknames have stuck so fiercely.
In this gathered congregation, we have a Sheri, a Terry, and a Geri. Are there other “eries?” Often parents name two or three children with names that end the same. Maybe that is so when the parent wants both or all three to come when he or she calls, the names will all sound the same and they will all come at once. Of course, that is usually wishful thinking that any young person will come immediately unless there is a bowl of hot home-made vegetable soup with a freshly-baked blueberry muffin waiting on a cold winter’s day.
In our Gospel lesson today, one of the fishermen was named Simon. But in verse 8, he is called Simon Peter. In the epistle lesson, the same person is called Cephas by Paul, the author of 1 Corinthians. In another passage, Jesus calls Simon Peter “the rock.” If you have a spare minute or two, you may want to check those names on the internet to see how they are interrelated. Wait, I will give you a clue. It is John 1 starting with verse 35. (repeat)
Better still, consider joining us some Tuesday for our Zoom Bible Study. I call it “Scripture Coming Alive” because the words jump from the Bible and we sort of toss them like pancakes until they settle down as a message. We research questions online right then and there. Of course, we are not all fast enough to do that but we just go on talking and before we know it one or two or three people have found exactly what we wanted to know. Sometimes, though we need to toss that information around to be sure that it is truth. You may agree that not everything we find online is the truth. It can’t be called “truth.”
You probably know that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John tell the same events differently. Just as Luke and John tell the gathering of the first disciples a bit differently, we can glean the truth by reading both, stepping back, discussing, looking at the passages before and after this one, “naming” the similarities, until someone finds himself or herself verbalizing the point: the reason these passages were chosen to tell the story – the truth we shall take to heart.
The story of our faith winds its way from Genesis 1 through Revelation 22. Sometimes it is hidden from sight and we must dig for the thread. Sometimes it jumps from the pages so boldly as to take our breath. We are CALLED to perceive it. It bounces from our eyes into our minds and then our hearts. I just spied a verse in Revelation 22 – I had to check if Revelation had 21 or 22 chapters. Here is this verse: The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come!” Everyone who hears this should say, “Come!” If you are thirsty, come! If you want life-giving water, come and take it. It’s free! Revelation 22:17
Lent begins in a few weeks. The secret is that we don’t have material chosen as I write this sermon. When I should have started this sermon several hours ago, I could not resist researching some ideas to have Lent be real for all of us.
We had shuffled ideas around. Maybe the “Stations of the Cross” would be meaningful. I found some material on “The Lord’s Prayer.” Then I found some writings named, “Thirsty for God.” And here I am writing the sermon finding this Revelation 22:17 about being thirsty. This really could be God leading us toward a theme of being thirsty Christians. Thirsty for the pure living water to fill and fuel our souls.
So whether our worship committee chooses to do something meaningful with the Stations of the Cross, or The Lord’s Prayer, or being thirsty for God, or something entirely different, we like to think it will be Jesus CALLING us to a meaningful experience.
This morning, St. Paul’s people, you are answering the call to serve in specific ways in your congregation. We see that many roles exist into which members will be installed. The Holy Spirit is invited to reside in each person’s heart and mind so that these roles will come alive. This evening, Zion’s consistory will be installed and an Elder ordained as we gather on Zoom for an exciting reunion since we do not see many of our people in person. On Sunday evening, Feburary 27, we will have another Zoom event but this time we would like St. Paul’s people to join us so our Zion people, whom you have not met, can meet you and feel a part of this new congregation we hope to become. It will start at 7:00 p.m. The Zoom information will be in the weekly news and at 1zion.org.
Now, at this very moment, let us bow our heads and invite God the Father or Jesus the Son to call us. Let us not brace ourselves in apprehension. Instead, let us relax and listen. Let us not worry if we only hear the silence.
If a clear picture came to us, let’s ask for guidance and strength to pursue it. If there was nothing except a relaxed few minutes, let us walk through tomorrow and the next day with our hearts tuned for the CALL. Amen