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24th January 2021

posted 22 Jan 2021, 02:58 by Church Office
Third Sunday of Epiphany
Parish Eucharist

We know what fishing is right? But what does it mean when we’re fishing for people? Does it mean rescuing them from the chaos of the deeps? Does it mean gathering all different kinds of people together in one family? In the Old Testament it was used as a metaphor for justice: God catching the predator fish who fed on the little ones. This meaning makes more sense for our readings today which are about repentance – turning from injustice and towards justice. The Ninevites (these are the Assyrians who have conquered, raped and plundered Israel and many other little nations) were the bogeymen of ancient Israel. This is why Jonah is reluctant to go; he has a suspicion that, if they repent, God will forgive them and he does not want them forgiven. How do we resist God’s abundant and generous forgiveness? For ourselves and for others? And how are we responding to our calling to speak out against injustice whilst remaining open to the possibility of real change?


First Reading: Jonah 3:1-5; 10
The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying, “Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s walk. And he cried out, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth.

When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.

Gospel Reading: Mark 1-14-20
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”

As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.

Almighty God,
whose Son revealed in signs and miracles
the wonder of your saving presence:
renew your people with your heavenly grace,
and in all our weakness
sustain us by your mighty power;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Church Office,
22 Jan 2021, 02:58