Mark relates an amazing scene. Jesus’ first act of public ministry is the calling of individuals to his side – ‘follow me’ (Mark 1:17). What is amazing is that Andrew and Simon, then James and John, heard and heeded.
I love this painting by Veneziano, showing Jesus on the shore with footprints behind in the sand, arms outstretched and hands open in invitation. Simon continues to fish for an instant. But look at Andrew! His face is serious, he is leaning at such a strange angle, almost as if an invisible force-field is drawing his towards Jesus. And maybe that is the point.
I remember how Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in The Cost of Discipleship about this scene, this call of Jesus that day to those individuals, and to so many others since. ‘How could the call of Jesus evoke such obedience? The story is a stumbling block for reason, and it is no wonder that frantic attempts have been made to separate the two events (call and following) … Something must have happened in between, some psychological or historical event’… but no … ‘This encounter is a testimony to the absolute, direct and unaccountable authority of Jesus’. They heed the call because it is Jesus who speaks. They had no idea what they were in for, but they knew truly and deeply that they needed to follow this voice. Such are the dynamics of faith, then and now.
Certified child care is offered during the service and there is free parking on the streets around (please note that the time-of-day restrictions on Clergy Street north of Queen are not in effect on Sundays) and in the surface civic lot just behind the church off Queen Street.
Have a look at the Order of Service and bulletin below, and consider each hymn and prayer and announcement a personal invitation to join us in Christian worship, community and service. If you have any questions about forthcoming events and opportunities, please call the church office Tuesday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – noon, 613-546-6316, or email email@example.com
Our journey through the Gospel according to Mark will continue next week with Mark 2:1-12.