The Collect: “Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now land forever. Amen.”
The Response: Psalm 27:1, 4-9 was led by Neil Nichols: *(verse 5) “One thing I have asked of the Lord; one thing I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.”
The First Lesson was Isaiah 9:1-4, read by Arthur Clark. This is Isaiah’s prophesy about the coming of Christ to deliver his people from the dark into the light. He also prophesizes the spreading of the Good News to all nations.
The Second Lesson was 1 Corinthians 1:10-18 read by John Greve. Paul is admonishing the Corinthians for the dissention among them. They are arguing about to whom they belong; Paul, Apollos, Cephus, or Christ. Paul reminds them that it does not matter who was authorized to baptize them, for it is in the name of Jesus Christ, and all belong to Him. For those who believe that Jesus Christ is their savior are baptized in his blood by the power of God.
Reverend Johnston read the Gospel of Matthew 4:12-23. In this passage it tells that Jesus left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the sea. This also fulfills Isaiah’s prophesy about the light being brought to the darkness of the Gentiles of Galilee. Jesus began his preaching ministry telling the people to repent for the kingdom of heaven was coming near. As he walked along the Sea of Galilee he called four of his disciples to come and follow him. They were the fishermen, Peter, Andrew, James and John. Jesus was selecting the disciples who would help him in his ministry to the people. They went throughout the land of Galilee teaching, proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom, and healing the sick.
Reverend Johnston explained how Jesus lived in Capernaum where he began calling his disciples, healing people, and even raised a child from the dead. Jesus lived near the synagogue and often taught there. When he called Peter, Andrew, James and John, he told them, “Follow me. I will make you fish for men.”
Jesus was a great man and stood out among all the people. He is still a great man today. He comes to humans when they are in need and one day he will take your hand and lead you to his kingdom. All believers have this to look forward to. Others may be sad when a loved one goes, but he will be in eternal peace with Christ, God, and the Holy Spirit.
Reverend Johnston announced that his last day in the Partners of Ministry would be Easter, for he is retiring. He will be greatly missed for he has been a great inspiration and leader to all of PIM. He has served God with love and sacrifice without asking for recognition or recompense. He is truly a man of God. He answered the call, “Follow me.”
Next Sunday at 9 a.m., St. Matthew’s will have Sunday services. They invite anyone interested to attend. PIM website.