Week of: May 5, 2019
Scripture: John 21:1-19
After this, he said to him, "Follow me."
(John 21:19, NRSV)
The beautiful hymn tune and text by Cesareo Gabarain, "Lord, You Have Come to the Lakeshore" (UMH 344), is often paired with the stories of Jesus calling his disciples by the Sea of Galilee.
Lord, you have come to the lakeshore,
Looking neither for wealthy nor wise ones;
You only asked me to follow humbly … *
We do not find this sung story of the calling of the first disciples in John's Gospel. Yet, a similar scene appears at the end of John's Gospel after Jesus' resurrection. In John 21, the disciples are fishing on the Sea of Tiberias when the resurrected Jesus appears to them for the third time. When Jesus calls them to cast their nets to the other side, Simon Peter recognizes the risen Christ. Jesus and Simon Peter have a conversation in which Jesus asks Simon Peter to care for his flock in his physical absence. His last command and call to Simon Peter is: "follow me."
This story reminds us that our task as worship artists and disciples of Jesus Christ does not change after the resurrection. We are continually called to follow; yet we are also charged with caring for the people of God in the same way that Jesus cared for them in his life. As we lead worship through our varied arts, may we follow him and feed his sheep.
O Risen Christ, help us to follow you with uninhibited spirit. Grant that we might tend your sheep and feed your lambs as you, our Good Shepherd, did in your life. May we be your hands and feet in this time and place. Amen.
Deacon in Full Connection
Associate Minister, Children, Youth and Families
Washington Street United Methodist Church
* English translation: © 1989 The United Methodist Publishing House
Photo: Lake Junaluska is seen during Music & Worship Arts Week 2018. (Fellowship photo by Daniel Craig.)