Weekly Church Service – Epiphany 3: 24 January 2021


Sentence

The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.  Mark 1:15                                                                                  


Collect

Bountiful God,

through your Son you have called us to repent of

our sin, to believe the good news,

and to celebrate the coming of your kingdom:

teach us, like Christ’s first apostles,

to hear the call to discipleship,

and, forsaking old ways,

to proclaim the gospel of new life to a broken 

world; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Readings

  • Jonah 3:1-10
  • Psalm 62:5-12
  • 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
  • Mark 1:14-20

next week

  • Deut 18:15-20
  • Psalm 111
  • 1 Corinthians 8:1-13
  • Mark 1:21-28

A Thought to Ponder

Epiphany 3 Mark 1:14-20

Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

As [Jesus] passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea . . . “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

The day of the Messiah has dawned; but newness demands change: a “turning away” (the original meaning of the word repentance) from business as usual and a complete trust in the life and love of God. Simon and Andrew’s “abandoning” of their nets and James’ and John’s “abandoning” of their father in today’s Gospel illustrate the total trust and commitment Jesus demands of those who would be his disciples.

When Jesus calls us to “repent,” he’s not calling us to cease and desist; he’s not calling us out for our sins and failures. “Repentance” is a call to change, to look at our lives and our world in a new light, to become the person of hope and faith we seek to be; to repent is to look, not backward with regret, but forward with hope — not downwards at our own shortcomings, but upwards at God’s love.   

Jesus began his ministry by calling simple fishermen to be his most trusted friends. Although the Twelve were hardly scholars or men wise in the ways of the world, Jesus saw beyond their gruff simplicity to call forth from them faith, sincerity and integrity. As Mark’s Gospel unfolds each Sunday this year, the first disciples will misunderstand Jesus (if not miss the point entirely), desert him and even deny and betray him.  

To follow Christ means “abandoning our nets” of self-interest to embrace the needs of others; Jesus calls us to follow him along the difficult path of humility and selflessness. If we are going to realise his call to be “fishers of men,” we have to be willing to cast our nets into waters that are deep and turbulent, waters we do not know, waters that threaten the safety and security of our small boats.  

The Gospel is about possibilities: Christ came to show us how it is possible to love life to the fullest, if we dare to make forgiveness, reconciliation and selfless charity the centre of our lives. 

© Connections/MediaWorks

Sermon

  •     Epiphany 3 B

You can read the Pew Sheet here

Epiphany-3-B

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