Called
Luke 5:1-11

Over the last few years I have told you many times in sermons and in study sessions that we are created in God’s image and that he has a plan for us and has given us gifts to fulfil that plan.  I’ve encouraged you many times to seek out your ‘fit’ so that you can serve God in a way that energises you and just flat out ‘works’.  In the last couple of weeks, I’ve had that line of thinking challenged just a little bit, not to say that the thinking was incorrect but that maybe there is something to add to the mix.

You may remember last week we heard about the call of Jeremiah, he was reluctant to take on a role that God had planned for him, he said that he was just a boy and was unsure that he could carry out what God had in store for him.  God had consecrated him from the womb, before he was even born, set him apart for an important role as prophet to the nations, yet in Jeremiah’s mind, he didn’t have what it took, this was something he had never done before and so he was uncertain.

Today we’ve heard the story of the call of Isaiah, it is perhaps a little more dramatic than the call of Jeremiah, but the same theme is there.  Isaiah says he is a man of unclean lips, he doesn’t understand why he should be in the presence of the Lord.  Then when one of the angels that were gathered there touched his lips his guilt was gone and his sin blotted out, and he felt ready to serve the Lord when he asked whom shall I send saying, “Here I am, send me.”

Then we heard from Paul, reminding the Corinthians of both the love and grace of God through which he and the Corinthians are saved.  As he did so he emphasised his unworthiness by stating that he was the least of the apostles, one who had persecuted the church.  He also stated that even though he had worked extremely hard to build up the church in his later years, it wasn’t him but the grace of God working through him that made it possible.

Finally in our readings today we heard the call of Peter and with him James and John, although the emphasis in Luke’s account of the call is on Peter.  When Peter saw the amazing power of Jesus to provide such an enormous catch of fish, he fell down before Jesus telling him to go away from him because he was sinful.  Jesus’ response was a little surprising, he told Peter “Do not be afraid, from now on you will be catching people”.  And with that they obeyed Jesus, left everything they had, including the incredible catch of fish and followed him.

Each of these men was afraid, uncomfortable, felt unworthy of being in the presence of the Lord.  Yet God chose them to carry out hugely important roles in the building up and growth of God’s people and his church.  So if it’s OK for these guys to get out of their comfort zones and fulfil the plans that God has for them, using the gifts that he supplies them with, then surely its OK that we might give it a go too?

Today we’ve installed Church Council members, Pastoral Assistants, Sunday School and Head to the Heart teachers and leaders, and we have asked God’s blessing on our other ministries too, Shedmen, Young Adults group, Care and Contact assistants, Playgroup, Stitchers, Afternoon Ladies Fellowship, Ladies Morning Tea, our Musicians, Technical assistants, Bible Study Groups, Teen Girls group and our schools.  None of these are possible without people stepping up to the plate to lead, organise, pray for, administer, and importantly attend!  Many of those currently in these roles either felt unworthy and afraid when they started or maybe even still do.  But with God’s help all things are possible, because he gives us the gifts and the strength to carry them out on his behalf.

Yes God calls some to be prophets, some evangelists, some pastors, some teachers and the list continues.  He also calls us to fulfil our vocations too.  Did you notice in the Gospel reading that not all of the fishermen or the crowd that were gathered to hear Jesus became his disciples, there were some who remained.  They had all seen Jesus’ power and heard his preaching, yet some stayed and continued to be fishermen or whatever else the rest of the crowd did for a living.

The people who remained were also witnesses to the power and wonder of Jesus.  But they stayed and I would assume were able to tell the marvellous stories to their friends and neighbours and families, precisely because they were still there.  Peter, James and John, went with Jesus, to fulfil God’s plan for them, and the others stayed, also to fulfil God’s plan.  There is a role to play for each of us, to build up the kingdom of God, in our vocation and station in life.  To spread the message of the good news, that Jesus came to save us all.

The ultimate goal is that every person in every nation would hear the Word of God and believe.  All of the programs that any congregation runs are designed to build up the faith of you, God’s people.  So get involved, be a part of what we are doing here, learn about what each other are doing and who we are as a community, don’t be afraid to give something a go, to take on a role that you may not be experienced with but feel passionate about.  Rely on God for all that you need and he will provide for the good of the church and the building up of the body of Christ, so that we can go out into our every day lives, prepared to be witnesses to the love of and grace that God has for all people.

Amen