Year A (2013-2014)
Bible Book: Matthew / Matteus
Chapter: 4
Verse: 12
Verse (to): 23

So much happens in these few verses: Jesus hears that John has been put in prison, he goes to live in Capernaum, he starts to preach, he calls the first disciples, he teaches in the synagogue, he heals people, all within 11 short verses.

My first inclination was to write about “calling” – I know that so many of you are living out a particular calling to amazing ministry, but also that many of us struggle with the idea of “calling”.

But my eyes were drawn again and again to the three verses that seem not to fit in the narration of all the things Jesus did. Where most of this reading focuses on activity and action, vs 14-16 suddenly deals with motivation. We read that the move to Capernaum happened to fulfill a prophecy of Isaiah, which is highlighted in vs 16:

“the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”

Thinking about this “different” bit in the middle of the reading, I wonder why this was put in the text. Why was this motivation seen as important enough to “interrupt” the list of activities. I think that this ‘insert’, this interruption, changes all the activity. Activity is transformed into something that can change lives, the motivation transforms the preaching, calling, teaching, healing into something profound.

I would like to share a prayer from John van de Laar and encourage you to read the rest of the Eucharist Liturgy linked below. 1

As light-seekers we come, O God, and we rejoice in Your light;
May our adoration open a window,
       that Your light may flood through.
As hope-seekers we come, O God, and we celebrate Your gift of hope;
Capture us as we worship,
       and make us prisoners of hope.
As Christ-followers we come, O God,
and we open ourselves to Christ’s life;
Change us as we encounter Your glory,
       that we may carry Your light into the world.
Into this place of worship we bring the hopes and needs
       of all who find themselves in the dark places of the world;
              The grieving, the sick, the abused and the forgotten.
Into this place of worship we bring the hopes and dreams
       of all who have lost their purpose and vision;
              The rejected, the fallen, the disappointed and the discouraged.
Into this place of worship we bring the hopes and courage
       of all who serve and uplift others;
              The leaders, the carers, the protectors and the teachers.
We praise You for the light that shatters the darkness,
       the hope that rises from the ashes,
       the life that returns from the grave
And we pray that they may fill the earth,
       as dawn fills the sky. Amen.

To think about: How can the light of Christ transform our calling to ministy, particularly ministry in a time of HIV.

1. From Food For The Road: Life Lessons From The Lord’s Table, © 2005 John van de Laar…

Written by: Lyn van Rooyen, CABSA Director

Author: van Rooyen L (Ms)
Language: English