Third Sunday after Epiphany
Minister: Rev. Stephen Manners
Organist: Graeme Brownlee
“Come, follow me,”
“and I will send you out to fish for people.”
Welcome and Intimations
Introduction to theme of service
Call to Worship
God of our salvation:
God of glory:
God our rock:
God our refuge:
God of mercy:
God of loving kindness:
God of power:
God who calls ‘follow’
lead us where you would have us go.
Hymn 540 I heard the voice of Jesus say
Prayer of Approach
Reading: Matthew 4: 12-25 Reader: Elsie Emanbi Njotu
Hymn 340 When Jesus saw the fishermen
Hymn 533 Will you come and follow me
To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
the God whom we adore,
be glory, as it was, and is,
and shall be evermore.
Prayer of Dedication for the offering
Prayers of response
Hymn 644 O, Jesus, I have promised
Benediction and Threefold Amen
Matthew 4.12-25 – taken from William Barclay’s commentary on Matthew
Jesus has moved to Capernaum after the news of John the Baptist’s imprisonment. For Jesus the time had come when he must go forth to his task. So Jesus was walking by the lakeside; and as he walked he called Peter and Andrew, James and John. It is not to be thought that this was the first time that he had seen them, or they him. As John tells the story, at least some of them were already disciples of John the Baptist (Jn.1:35). No doubt they had already talked with Jesus and had already listened to him, but in this moment there came to them the challenge once and for all to throw in their lot with him. Jesus, too, called on these fishermen to follow him, to walk with him. Teachers often taught their disciples while walking. So following him as their teacher would have involved walking together and learning on the way.
It is interesting to note what kind of men they were. They were not men of great scholarship, or influence, or wealth, or social background. They were not poor, they were simple working people with no great background, and certainly, anyone would have said, with no great future. It was these ordinary men whom Jesus chose. What Jesus needs is ordinary folk who will give him themselves. He can do anything with people like that.
It is where we work, rest or play that Jesus comes to find us. He is present in these places and at these times. Jesus finds us where we are and it is there that he: confronts us with the challenge to repent and to reflect and change our practices; invites us to ‘come and follow him’; shares the promise of good news; and offers us healing and the opportunity to move on from those things that challenge and threaten to overwhelm us. Jesus in Capernaum picks up the work of John the Baptist but already we see this work as quite different from what has gone before. A new reign of God is on the horizon and it is focussed at the centre of everyday human life.
When you are out for a walk this week imagine Jesus is
Talk to him as you walk and listen to what he has to say.
Sunday Services: We are pleased to welcome back Rev Stephen Manners to lead our worship today. We also welcome Graeme Brownlee at the organ.
Next Sunday Rev Dr Martin Scott will conduct our January communion service.
Christmas Appeal: Today is the last opportunity to contribute to the appeal for the Red Cross Afghanistan Crisis Appeal. The total raised so far is £410.
(For individual anonymous donations up to £30, tax can be claimed through the Gift Aid small donations scheme, if you are giving over £30 please use a gift aid envelope if you can.)