Given by Rev. Madison Shockley January 26 2020

According to the church calendar, we turn our focus to Jesus’s ministry. Last week, we talked about the baptism of Jesus. John the Baptist was his mentor. When John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee.  There he continued to spread the gospel. Jesus was spreading the movement. The Romans thought this was a dangerous message. They arrested and killed John and ultimately arrested and killed Jesus. The message was that we can give ourselves to God now. We can live a different life. Jesus probably started talking to his friends about this message. Peter and Andrew were by the sea fishing. Then he gathered more friends. Jesus told them his message and they joined the movement.  Jesus said something unusual, you will be fishers of men. While this is not the best metaphor, we hope that Jesus explained this image better. They gave up everything to follow Jesus. The question today is what are we willing to give up to follow Jesus? Are we willing to give up our white privilege, our economic status, or social status? Sometimes, in order to deny a stigma its power, you must fully embrace it. Jesus’s message allowed them to stand free and proud. It is a way out even when the bars of oppression may remain in place. If we take it, then the bars of oppression will eventually be gone. The Empire of God will be at hand!