text : John 21:15-19
theme verse: “After this, Jesus said to Peter, ‘Follow me.’” (John 21:19b)
Peter walked the peaks and valleys of that first Holy Week (without knowing we’d remember it as we do of course) and is picking up the pieces in the aftermath. Clearing his head by doing what he does best (fishing), he spots Jesus and leaves again his fishing nets to pursue the one he’s claimed as Lord. In a private moment between Jesus and Peter, Jesus gives him the “Are you up for it?” speech. How could he possibly be up for it? Jesus says, “Feed them. Tend them. Feed them.” Okay then. But how? Jesus says simply, “Follow me.” But isn’t Jesus departing? How can he be followed? Time to put all that time with Jesus to meaningful use. All that’s at stake? The entire future of the church.
opening : 'I Will Follow' (Tomlin) :: The Rising Band - Isaac Herbert leader
offertory : 'Ode to Joy' :: Jason Swanson, solo guitar
reader : Giselle Chebny
preaching : Rev Courtney Richards
anthem : 'I Will Rise' (Maher/Tomlin) :: Chancel Choir - Kelly Ford, director; soloists - Christina Maxwell, Ashley Pease, Todd Maxwell
This week’s sermon didn’t show up in manuscript form. It involved storytelling about recent events, and they didn’t lend themselves well to being recorded ‘on paper’. Thank you for listening to the good news for us this week.
Study on the John 21 text primarily from:
– Gail O’Day, ‘John’, New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary (Abingdon, 1995)
– John Shelby Spong, The Fourth Gospel: Tales of A Jewish Mystic (HarperOne, 2013)