Sermon Notes

Following Jesus : The Call : Come and follow me.

Small group Notes 

Watch the video “How to age Gracefully”

What advice would you give to someone who is a couple of years younger than you ?  Share your advice with each other – have some fun with it.

It was the 10 year anniversary of the christchurch earthquake last week. Share a memory or two. If you had to give advice to yourself back then, what would you say ?

One more story : We read a bit of “The Rabbit Listened” where Taylor builds a block tower and it’s knocked down. 

What would you say to taylor when his blocks are knocked down ? 

We’re going to pay attention to Peter. 

Young Peter is a professional fisherman. His fishing is his income and his independence.  There are 20 different fish in the lake. Mostly versions of sardines, but the best fish were Barbels and Moosh.  The best time for fishing in winter is at night, when fish came up to the shallows. Peter has been out all night fishing and caught nothing.  He’s tied and has to stay awake and fix and clean the nets. How would you feel ? This has been a bad day’s night and no income. 

Read Luke 5: 1-3 

Why would you let Jesus sit in your boat ? How tired would Peter be ?

Luke doesn’t tell us what Jesus said ? Why do you think Luke doesn’t ?

What kind of things do you think Jesus might have taught ?

Read Luke 5:4-11

When Jesus asks Simon to put out the boat and put down the nets, how would you have responded. Is Peter’s response enthusiastic, reluctant ? (Hint, wrong time of day, wrong place, and directions from a carpenter to a professional fisherman).

When the nets are over full, How would you have reacted ?

Why do you think Simon/Peter is suddenly aware of being sinful ?

“The Kingdom is where everything is turned upside down. Those who are marginal, those considered not respectable, are suddenly proclaimed as the people who are called to the Kingdom. The part of us that is weak, broken, or poor suddenly becomes the place where something new can begin. Jesus says, “Be in touch with your brokenness. Be in touch withyour sinfulness. Turn to God because the Kingdom is close at hand. If you are ready to listen from your brokenness then something new can come forth in you.” – Henri Nouwen

“Jesus calls us to move away from the world of scarcity and from a way of thinking about scarcity, to a world of abundance and to a way of thinking about abundance. “ – Henri Nouwen. Is this true in our lives ? Where have you experienced abundance ? Where do you experience scarcity ?

In Verse 11 Jesus calls’ Peter. He starts with saying don’t be afraid and then commissions him to a different task.  What makes us afraid ? What are you scared of ? “Fear makes us hold on to our position and possessions. Love is letting go and trusting that in the letting go life with multiply. Life will become more”. Many of our fears are about scarcity ? There won’t be enough ? What are we scared there won’t be enough of ?

“Following Jesus as described in the gospels is an invitation to follow the God of abundance.”

Peter spends the next 3 years following Jesus. He develops a close relationship with him. He learns that often God will provide through the ordinary and sometimes the supernatural.  He probably expects that Jesus will rule Israel and the world. but Then Jesus dies and Peter goes back fishing. 

Read John 21:1-3

How many parallels can you see between the Luke story and this one ? 

How would Peter have felt ? How would you feel ?

Read John 21:4-13.

Any more parallels ?   Where is the abundance in this story ?

What advice would an older peter give to the younger ?

Writing about this passage Nouwen says “Our response to following Jesus can be very concrete, our response is to take small steps away from “me” and “my fears” toward the Lord. …. Following does not require dramatic gestures….The great secret of the spiritual life is that you already know the little steps, even if you don’t know the big ones. You don’t need to know the big steps to take the little steps. You only have to take one step at a time.”

What is the next small step to stepping away from “me” and “my fears” for you ?

Hint : Nouwen suggests step 1 “Listen”. and the 2nd step is to step away from “Mine”.

Talk together about what this might mean. Pray together.

P.S. maybe some of Peters advice could be found in 1 Peter 1:3-7

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