Advent Devotional for December 15th

Jesus Calls the First Disciples

16 As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea–for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him. 

Advent’s arrival is accompanied by my own anticipation of the traditional choreographed moments in worship like hearing passages read from Luke on Christmas Eve. I equally appreciate the more introspective opportunities to reflect on all God’s gifts when I listen to the Carol and Kirk children’s choirs. This passage from Mark, however, reminds us that God often also calls us outside these formal, and potentially comfortable, settings.

The disciples were in the midst of their daily work when Jesus called them away to make it anything but a normal day. I wonder how well I listen when God speaks to me as I navigate the regular and trivial aspects of work and family life?

Through Room in the Inn, we host our unhoused neighbors every Monday in the winter. I believe one of the great gifts of this ministry is a feeling of normalcy for all involved. Our guests don’t have to worry about how a meal will be pulled together or a strategy to stay warm through the night. The First Presbyterian hosts hear opinions about Charlotte’s sports teams and merits of a particular style of barbeque. All the while, the hosts’ and the guests’ children are bouncing balls in the gym. Sometimes in these regular moments and informal settings, God’s call can come through to us more directly, and from unexpected places.

-Fritz Porter

Caravaggio, The Calling of Saints Peter and Andrew, c. 1603–1606, Royal Collection, Hampton Court Palace, London, oil on canvas, 140.1 x 176.0 cm

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