Empowered by the Spirit, we reach out in joy, witness God’s love, and help ourselves and our community live and grow. 

Greetings St. John’s Lutheran Church! 

As Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea — for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. –Matthew 4:18-20 

Follow the Leader 

What does it mean for us to follow Jesus? The children’s game “follow the leader” might come to mind. One person acts, and the rest must imitate. There’s not a whole lot of thought involved in this game, and, in fact, it can be ad- vantageous to turn off your critical brain and simply move instinctually. Following Jesus, however, is altogether different. 

Follow Me 

Peter and Andrew seem to spontaneously obey Jesus’ command to follow. Did they consider the price of leaving everything behind? Were they ready for the sacrifices on the road ahead? Did they fully understand Jesus’ mission and the path that he was walking? From their grumbling and confusion in later chapters, it would seem not. Sometimes, we too jump into God’s call without considering the road ahead, but, other times, we must stop and think about how our faith should inform our next step. 

Jesus, Our Leader 

In this season of Epiphany, the identity and teachings of Jesus will be prominent themes in our scripture read- ings. We will hear stories of Jesus’ divinity and calling being revealed, and we will hear sections of Jesus’ famous sermon on the mount about what it means to be his disciples. We will have plenty of opportunity to consider what it means to follow Jesus in today’s world. 

Leaders Following After Christ 

May we grow together this season as leaders who follow the example and teachings of Christ and who live into the grace and forgiveness that Jesus reveals in his identity and his actions. 

In Christ, Pastor Kat 

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