Call to worship:
One: Let us come before the Lord with open hearts.
All: Let us bring our broken dreams, our conflicts and our grief.
One: For God is good and out of sorrow will come new gladness
All: The Lord will fill us again with power to sing with joyful hearts.
Prayer and Lord’s Prayer:
Dear Lord, help us follow the path that Jesus walked. Help us to learn what needs to be done, to serve others and to connect with our church and our community and to care for those who suffer. Help us to know ourselves, to share our gifts, to love one another and to seek and embrace peace. Now, as Jesus taught us, let us pray together: Our Father…
Presentation of offering:
Dear Lord, we give back to You in thankfulness what You have given to us in Kindness. We acknowledge that the world and its resources are not ours, and that You have put us in charge as Your trustees.
Help us to exercise responsibly the authority You give us in Your world. Let Jesus, Your son, be the pattern for all our dealings with one another ad with the rest of creation. Bless the gifts we now present back to You, so that they may be used in the work of your Kingdom on earth. Amen
1. 0 God, we appreciate Jesus Christ, who stirs us to good work. We recall that he healed the sick, taught the uninformed, preached to the uncommitted, worked in His father's carpenter shop, counsels individuals in trouble, and spoke out about the shortcomings of political and religious leaders of His day.
2. May we, as followers, be shaken out of our comfortable ways.
1. Help us evaluate our present situation in terms of our commitment to Christ.
2. May we work hard, giving our devotion to our jobs, our family and our lives, using our abilities fully knowing we serve You in our efforts.
1. Whenever we think of those who are sick, hungry, imprisoned, poorly clad or new to the community, may we hear again the voice of Jesus saying, "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to Me."
2. May we accept our responsibility to the refugee, the orphan, the unemployed, the alcoholic, the unmarried mother and child, the victims of war, flood, tornado and fire, the sick, the lonely and the handicapped?
1. Help us to minister to those who are seeking purpose in life.
2. May we be worthy witnesses to the Christian gospel so that in our actions and words, people may sense a purpose greater than our own, which gives life significance.
1. 0 God, make us more like Jesus, who became a servant to all. Help us to do Your will without reservation and without complaint.
2. May we be given purpose, o Lord, so that in serving others we may know the pleasure of serving You as well.
They Meet in Galilee
“Meet in Galilee”, said Jesus to his eleven apostles, when He met with them in Jerusalem after his resurrection. He named a certain day and a certain mountain where to meet with Him. We don’t know exactly what day it was and we don’t know what mountain. It may have been the high mountain where Jesus was transfigured, or it may have been the mountain where He spoke the Beatitudes. We just don’t know, but it must have been some place rich in memories to Jesus and his disciples.
It seems that seven disciples went to Galilee together a few days before the appointed time. They were Simon Peter, John and James, Thomas and Nathaniel, and two other. Possibly they were Andre and Philip.
Peter was never one to stay idle. So, soon he said to the others, “I’m going fishing”. That had been his vacation before Jesus had called him to be his disciple. Andre, James and John ad possibly Philip, had also been fishermen.
They all agreed to go with Peter. They went out in the boat and fished all night, but they caught nothing. Just as the day was breaking, they saw a man standing on the shore, but they didn’t realize that is was Jesus.
Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any fish?” And they answered, “No”
“Throw you net in on the other side of the boat”, Jesus said, “and you will find them”.
They did what Jesus asked and they found their net so full of fishes they couldn’t haul it in. Oh what a memory swept over them of the same miracle Jesus had done when He first called them. And John said to Peter, “It is the Master!”
When Simon Peter heard that, he put on his clothes, since he had taken them off in order to fish better, then he jumped into the sea and swam to shore to be with Jesus. The rest of the disciples followed in the boat, for they were about 100 yard from land, and they dragged the net full of fish.
When they landed, they saw a charcoal fire burning, with a fish laid on it, and there was also bread. Oh, what a holy happy picnic this was. Alone with Jesus on the shore in the early morning, and He, Jesus had started breakfast for them. It was a simple breakfast, but it looked good to hungry men. It had been 3 ½ years since Jesus had called them to be fishers of men. It seemed an age now, with such great deeds, and both terrible and glorious things happening in between. But here alone with their beloved Master, it all rolled off their shoulders, and they felt young and carefree again.
Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have caught”.
Peter went and drew the net on shore and the others went to help him. They found a hundred and fifty three great fishes they had caught.
“Come and have breakfast”, said Jesus, and he went and got some bread and gave it to them, along with more fish. Their Master waited on them again, reminding them of what He had said: “The Son of man has come, not to be served, but to serve. “the disciples sat and ate while Jesus talked.
When they had finished, Jesus said to Peter, “Simon, son of Jonas, do you love Me more than these others?”
The other disciples looked at Peter- Peter had boasted that he would never desert Jesus, and then had gone and denied Him before men with cursing and swearing. Once peter, like all of them, had said he was the greatest. What would he say now?
Peter knew that he was being examined and he searched his heart. He had already deeply reported and he knew that he loved Jesus. But the burning question was, did he love Jesus more than the others? Once, Peter would have said that he did, but now he was more humble. Peter finally answered Jesus, saying, “Yes, Master, You know that I love You.”
And Jesus said, “Then feed my lambs,”
A little later, Jesus again again said to Peter, “Simon, son of Jonas, do you love Me?”
An again Peter answered, “Yes, Master, You know that I love you.” Then feed my sheep,” replied Jesus
Three times: “Feed my lambs, my sheep!” Peter was a fisherman; he knew how to catch fish. He remembered that Jesus had said when He called them from their fishing nets,” From henceforth you shall catch men.” But catching fish and even catching men was rough business. Peter had never been a shepherd, and he didn’t know how to care for sheep, how to save the lost ones, or how carefully and tenderly to feed the little ones. He had been a man’s man, ready to deal with grown people as he would haul fish, but knowing little and caring less for children. Lambs were so different from fish! Hadn’t he rebuked the mothers for bringing their children to Jesus to be blessed? Now Jesus was telling him to help and bless and teach the little ones.
Peter had been learning through the years as he lived and worked with Jesus, he remembered that Jesus had said, “I am the Good Shepherd; the Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” Yet at heart, peter was still a fisherman. Now he wasn’t going to catch fish anymore. Instead, he was going to feed the lambs. What a changed life for Peter! Would this make him become more like His Lord?
Jesus continued talking to Peter:” Peter, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and go where you pleased; but when you grow old, you will stretch your hands, and someone else will dress you and take you where you do not wish to go.” Jesus said this to show ho Peter’s spirit was to be made submissive, and the kind of death by which he would honour God. And afterward, he said to peter, “Follow me.”
It was time for the meeting that Jesus had appointed. The disciples probably took time to sell the fish first, or maybe old Zebedee did, In either case, we know that Jesus never let anything go to waste. They went to the mountain where they met the other disciples. James the less and his brother Jude, and , Matthew and Simon the Zealot.
Paul tells us the Jesus met with more than 500 disciples at one time, and this is probably that time. The word of this appointment, to meet on the mountain, had gone out from the disciples at Jerusalem. The faithful ones who had kept their hope in Jesus made their way to the place of the meeting.
Jesus had given instructions to the eleven when He met with them on the first night after the resurrection, telling them that they should go into all the world and preach the gospel. Now he repeated it in Full, not only to the apostles, but to all who had gathered there: “All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Go, then, to all the world, and carry the gospel to everyone. Baptize them ine the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to keep all the commandments I have given you. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned. And I will always be with you, even to the end of the world.”
If any of you today are wondering what following Jesus is all about, remember what he said to his disciples at the Last Supper after washing their feet:” I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
Let us pray: O God, what are we called to be and do? Where would you have us go? Help us discuss purpose in our lives and respond as far as our faith lead us. Help us reach beyond immediate pleasures toward a more lasting goal. Help us see our lives in the perspective of Your love and will for us. This we earnestly pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen
As we leave this place, know that we never walk alone. Know the comfort of Christ walking beside us. Feel his presence each moment of each day,