The Gospel this week:
After John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
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. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.
Repent and believe in the good news!
Today (Wednesday), as we inaugurated a new president and vice president, we said good bye to a previous administration. This week and today is about our ability to change our course and follow a different path than we have the last four years.
I was out working at my part-time job when President Biden and Vice President Harris took their oaths of office but I arrived home in time to see Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman deliver her speech to those gathered for the inauguration. Gorman recited “The Hill We Climb.”
As this 22 year old African American spoke I felt tears of pride and expectation well up in my eyes as Gorman spoke of unity, healing, grief and hope, and of our need to end this uncivil war that has evolved in our country. As a man of God I would add that we can’t accomplish this without God’s grace.
It seems so much of the last few years have been about red and blue or republicans and democrats and hate and discontent. Jesus told us that since we can’t obey the 613 laws in the Old Testament, or even just the 10 commandments that Moses brought forth from God, he was giving us a new commandment. We needed to obey just TWO commandments. He said we need to “love God and love our neighbor as ourselves.” Some of us haven’t done such a good job of that lately and could use a little help. Yes, me too. After all, we are all human and have all fallen short of the glory of God.
Our annual meeting is this Sunday immediately following our Sunday worship. This year it’s on ZOOM. I encourage you to attend. But take a moment breathe out, ground yourself, and listen to Poet Laurent Amanda Gorman. Here is a link to her speech: