Sermon Notes- January 22, 2012

3rd Sunday after the Epiphany-Year B

Jonah 3:1-5, 10
Psalm 62: 6-14
1 Corinthians 7: 29-31
Mark 1:14-20


This third week of the season, we are still into call stories.  Jonah in the OT and Peter, Andrew, James and John in Mark. Again, for me, the Epistle is not where i will be going for proclamation.  So, these notes will deal primarily with Jonah and Mark.

  • It makes sense to read the entire book of Jonah to prepare for this message. It is a short and concise unified piece. The whole story is a great example of how God was reaching out to a foreign people, and the prophet’s unhappiness and stubbornness through it all.  The details in this shorter reading from chapter 3 are enough to get the juices flowing–here are some questions to ask of the passage: Why did God have to ask Jonah a second time? Where is this huge town that takes three days to cross by foot?  What is the significance of 40 days? What did Jonah say that made a difference? Was Jonah surprised by their repentance? Do you believe that God can change his mind?  How did Jonah deal with all of this? How do you respond to God’s mercy?
  • resources on Jonah 3:1-5, 10
  • Notes from Join the Feast on Jonah 3 (Can you see the humor in the Jonah narrative?)
  • The Psalm works with the OT lesson–an excellent compliment to a story of God’s call and God’ s faithfulness to God’s mercy.  There is the parallel idea in v.13 of God speaking twice to Jonah–God has spoken once, twice have I heard it, that power belongs to God.
  • The Gospel Lesson is typical of Mark.  It is brief, moves quickly, and gets all of the details out on the table without a lot of fluff.  In this Gospel, we move from Jesus’ baptism to calling disciples in a short span of five or six verses. Mark gets to the point.  The time is come, the kingdom is at hand...Jesus moves quickly through Galilee calling disciples. Simon/Peter and Andrew are called with that famous line: Follow me.  i will make you fish for people. Jesus tells them that he is about a different kind of fishing. In Markan fashion, they “immediately” get up and follow Jesus. He goes just a little bit farther down the beach, and ends up calling James and John (the Sons of Thunder) with even less words. They immediately follow Jesus. Questions: Why are we so hesitant to follow Jesus? Would you be willing to drop what you are doing right now and follow Jesus? How important are your siblings in your walk of faith? Do you understand the urgency of Mark? (The parallel in Paul’s writing is in the Epistle Lesson)
  • Notes at (note the two parts of this story in v. 14-15, and v.16-20)
  • “What if you don’t like fishing?”

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