It amazes me how many different ways that God speaks to me. (When I'm paying attention!) From the morning's sunrise to the song on the radio to the smile from my beautiful wife Maria, I try to hear God as often as possible. As the sun rose this morning, HIs message came to me through a book I am reading on discipleship. Not only was this book speaking of Jesus' calling of His disciples (This week's Gospel) but it also referred to another book I read years ago. So what is God saying?
After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: "This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."
As he passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea; they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men." Then they abandoned their nets and followed him. He walked along a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They too were in a boat mending their nets. Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him. Mark 1:14-20
In his telling of Jesus' calling of His disciples, Mark's style comes through. His Gospel version is fast-moving and action-packed. Jesus calls and the disciples respond, leaving everything behind. Before long the disciples were watching as Jesus heals a demoniac, Simon's mother-in-law and as Mark continues, "He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons..." All of this happened before the end of Mark's first chapter.
Sometimes we read these passages and wonder why things aren't moving more quickly on our journey with God. I know I often hope God will heal and move mountains and bring peace...NOW! But the reality is that we need to grow in our relationship with God, continually. Jesus calls us all to follow Him. That means that we must accept that being a disciple of Christ requires that we leave the world behind us. As the the disciples did, we must spend time with Jesus getting to know Him better. Through our relationship with Him we become a part of Jesus' time of fulfillment, bringing His Kingdom to the world. Will you respond to His call today?
"Come after me..."