12 Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: 15 "Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali, on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— 16 the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned." 17 From that time Jesus began to proclaim, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near." 18 As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fish for people." 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21 As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him. 23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people. 24 So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought to him all the sick, those who were afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he cured them. 25 And great crowds followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and from beyond the Jordan. (Matthew 4:12-25)Jesus called and immediately Peter and Andrew followed.
Jesus called and immediately James and John left father and boat and followed.
Jesus called and I said no.
I was on a mountain ok it was a hill and I was bathed in the light of God and saw the whole world before me. No voice, no call. Yet God enveloped the 10 year old me. Did I change and become a different person. Did I tell my preacher father that God had a plan for me? Jesus called and I said no.
Jesus called and I said no.
I was at a youth event. I heard the most amazing preacher. I knew that one day that was going to be me. Did I talk to my youth advisors and association minister and say I need your help. I think God wants me to be a preacher. Jesus called and I said no.
Jesus called and I said no. People kept asking me what are you going to be and do. I said I’ll be the first female president in 2008. That wasn’t a real answer. That wasn’t a truthful answer. Jesus called and I said no.
Jesus called and I said no. I said no I don’t want to go somewhere new where I won’t know anyone. I don’t want to live with no money and used cars. I don’t want to speak of faith; I want the world to change. I want to get down and dirty and change the system so no one is hungry, the earth is protected, people have access to schools, jobs, healthcare, freedom... You can’t do that as a pastor. Jesus called and I said no.
Life became unexpected. My husband left. My dissertation wasn’t working. My son and I need food, clothing, shelter, work. I was in church every Sunday sitting with my grandmother, my aunt, my cousins. And the preacher began to speak.
Jesus called and Peter and Andrew, James and John followed.The preacher preached. The disciples followed. I heard this week after week. Jesus called.
Jesus called and Matthew followed.
Jesus called and Phillip followed.
Jesus called and Nathaniel questioned and then followed.
Jesus called and I said yes.