Oh, Jonah. That poor prophet who achieved exactly the result he was called upon to do, and felt betrayed to the point of wanting to die because of it. Though, of course, we don’t get the whole story in today’s pericope. Today we just hear God’s call to Jonah (the second time, after all that nonsense with the boat and the storm and the big fish), and his ministry in Nineveh. Will you be addressing Jonah in your sermon this week? If so, will you expand the passage to include more of the story?

Calling Disciples, by He Qi

Mark brings us the call of the fishermen Andrew and Simon, James and John. After Nathanael’s skepticism last week, this call story offers quite a different alternative. These disciples don’t question Jesus’ authority; they acknowledge it from far off and drop everything they have to follow him. Which model is better? More realistic? More relatable for our worshippers to hear?

The Revised Common Lectionary also offers lessons from 1 Corinthians and Psalm 62. What are you using in worship? What speaks to you? What most relates to your community?

Please share your ideas, challenges, and questions below. Blessings on your worship preparations!

Katya Ouchakof is co-pastor of Lake Edge Lutheran Church in Madison, WI. She hopes that this winter there will finally be enough snow go snowshoeing somewhere close to home. And if that doesn’t work out, at least she can find hot tea, a sofa, and a good book!

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13 thoughts on “Revised Common Lectionary: Fishy Edition

  1. I’m planning to preach on the various models of discipleship. Drop everything and follow me! Be a little skeptical and wait to be convinced. Follow, but be grumpy about it.

    That’s all I’ve got so far, looking forward to where the Spirit calls me from here. As usual, no ideas for the children’s sermon yet. Any suggestions?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Preaching Jonah. I found a fun interactive telling of the story to involve the kids and adults. The story stops where all is well but the sermon will go on further into Jonah’s reluctance to accept God’s mercy toward Ninevah. I may go the direction of want vs. need as the search committee is beginning it’s work. Or I may go the direction of the shadow side we all carry with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jonah is on the schedule for me. I’m going to expand and tell the whole story including Reluctant Jonah, Time Out Jonah, Teeth Gritting Prophet Jonah but focusing on Grumpy Because I May Have to See My Enemies Differently Jonah.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing…your posts always make me think/inspire me! I was just questioning to myself how can I connect the idea of “immediately” from Dollar Tree Kid’s Sermons with the idea of looking at different responses as Disciples as I was reading your post, and as I did I realized duh…frame it in the question of how do we like to think we respond vs. the reality vs. how does God respond. Thanks to you and the Holy Spirit!


      1. Glad you found some inspiration! Hope it all goes well for you. My children’s sermon will be on how we all follow differently. I’m going to create a sculpture with model magic and ask the kids to copy it while we worship (our kids worship with us at small tables) and then see how different everyone’s sculpture looks at the end of worship


  4. Although I plan to mention Jonah in my message, I’m using Mark as my jumping off point. Most of my congregation is elderly so I’m going with the thought that being called may mean staying at home, though that doesn’t let us off the hook (no pun intended). We must become actively engaged in our community and do God’s work locally.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m thinking about the risk element of following Jesus. It would have been easier to just stay in the boat and keep doing what they were doing rather than risking following Jesus not knowing where they would be going or how things would turn out. My congregations need to take some risks rather than just worry about keeping on and trying to stay alive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like this take on discipleship. Our annual leadership retreat is on Saturday, so the theme of taking some risks to answer a call could fit right in with that. Thanks for the ideas!


  6. I’m planning to talk about “the hired men” who stayed behind in the boat with Zebedee when James and John went off to follow Jesus. Why did they stay behind? Was it simply because they weren’t asked by Jesus to come along? If so, why? What did Jesus see in James and John that he didn’t see in the hired men? How did they feel about that? Or, were they asked, but turned Jesus down? If so, why? Was that the end of the encounter with Jesus for these men, or did they continue to be curious about him, ask their friends what they had heard about him, etc… Not sure where that will end up yet, but I suspect it may land here – Do the ministry you can do, wherever you are, whatever your gifts, knowing God has a call upon your life. Perhaps not a dramatic, public one – but a ministry that is equally vital to God’s work in the world…

    Liked by 2 people

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