United Presbyterian Church of West Orange

“Responding to God’s Call”

Rev. Rebecca Migliore
January 21, 2018



       Today I want us to think about responding to God’s call.  So I want us to delve deep into our Scripture together.

       What were Peter and Andrew and James and John doing when Jesus showed up?

       Casting their nets

       Mending their nets

       Fishing (their job)

       Hanging out with friends/family


So what does it require to go fishing for a living?


The right tools

Luck (that the fish are biting)



Some friends

Family in the business (knowing the ropes)

Hard work


Ok, so here were these fishing folk, minding their own business, and Jesus comes along, and says what?

       Follow me and I will make you fish for people.



Fish for people.  Is that even a thing?  I’m pretty sure Peter and Andrew and James and John had never heard of fishing for people before.  There’s no map, no guidelines, no job description, no one who has done this before.  And here is this guy, this Jesus, asking you to leave your job, your life, and step into the unknown.


What are you going to have to give up? 

       Your steady income

       Your family

       Your stability

       Your warm house/comfort zone

       Your position in society

       Your reputation

       Your routine


Where do you start?  What do you think it means to fish for people? 

       Casting out a net, day in and day out

       Knowing the fish will bite some days and not others (and that has nothing to do with you)

       Listening to others who have done it before?

       Having some friends to partner with

       Desire/Need to do it

       “Equipment”—boat, nets, bait (what is that?  Good news to share—“what we are doing?”  Church home?  Actually asking people to come?)


When does Jesus want this to happen?


What about finishing up whatever task we are doing right now?


What about our family?  What about our friends?  What about our responsibilities?



What does Immediately mean?

       That nothing is as important. 


Do we really believe that?  Do we hear the call as THAT important.  Do we realize the claim Jesus wants to have on our lives? 


OK, suppose we are willing to entertain that Jesus comes to all of us, like Jesus came to Peter and Andrew, to James and John,

       In the midst of our everyday lives

       Out of the blue, (not at a convenient time)

       And says to US

Follow me”


Maybe he wouldn’t say, “fish for people.”  Although it is a really good metaphor, as we have discovered.



Maybe he would say, “I will make you

       A Gardener who plants seeds of faith

       A Teacher who inspires others to learn about God

       An Electrician who sparks hope in others

       A Musician who lifts prayers to God

       A Contractor who creates community

       A Consultant who brings good news

       A Sales person who can pitch the kingdom

       A Deacon who models service

       An Elder who sets dreams in motion


This passage is not meant to scare anyone.  It is meant to invite.  It is meant to point out that whatever it is that we have done with our lives, Jesus wants to call us into service—with THOSE gifts, with WHATEVER it is we have, or don’t have. 

       There is no application process.  There is no screening exam.  There is just a simple invitation,

Follow me, and I will make you more than you have ever been.

Follow me, and I will make you a part of something that you never even dreamed of.

Follow me, for this is the time, this is the place, you are the people.


That is the good news for this morning.  And I want us to respond. 


“Follow me train” 





I have decided to follow Jesus.

I have decided to follow Jesus.

I have decided to follow Jesus.

No turning back, No turning back.




May it be so, Alleluia, Amen.