This coming Sunday we will begin our sermon series which will focus on the 5 themes of “Rolling River Rampage” Vacation Bible School that we will be hosting from July 23-27. This Sunday’s theme is “Find Adventure in the River”. The corresponding verse for this theme comes from Matthew 4:18-25:
18 As Jesus walked alongside the Galilee Sea, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew, throwing fishing nets into the sea, because they were fishermen.19 “Come, follow me,” he said, “and I’ll show you how to fish for people.” 20 Right away, they left their nets and followed him. 21 Continuing on, he saw another set of brothers, James the son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with Zebedee their father repairing their nets. Jesus called them and 22 immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
23 Jesus traveled throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues. He announced the good news of the kingdom and healed every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread throughout Syria. People brought to him all those who had various kinds of diseases, those in pain, those possessed by demons, those with epilepsy, and those who were paralyzed, and he healed them. 25 Large crowds followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and from the areas beyond the Jordan River.
This verse is reminder that we have been called to “adventure” by Jesus Christ to announce the Good News and heal people from sickness and disease. When Christ called these first disciples in Matthew 4:18-22, they dropped everything and followed Christ, but I have to wonder if there wasn’t at least a little hesitation. This summer I have started to read again the J.R.R. Tolkien series, The Lord of the Rings. The first book in the series is titled The Fellowship of the Rings and it begins with a calling. One young Hobbit, named Frodo, is burdened with a difficult task to stop evil by delivering a ring to a mountain in Mordor, a place of evil, to be destroyed. Frodo knows very early on that this means leaving his place of comfort, the Shire, into unknown territory in order to save the world. He has a choice: 1) stay home, remain comfortable, and await the inevitable (the end of the world as he knows it) or 2) take off on this adventure of danger, unknown, and discomfort. Frodo chooses adventure, but he doesn’t go it alone. Others join Frodo and thus you have the The Fellowship of the Rings.
We too are called to adventure much like Frodo, to confront evil in this world and to participate in the saving action of Jesus Christ, but we don’t go it alone. Christ has built for us a fellowship and we do this together. On this adventure we will encounter discomfort and we may even wish at times to go back, but we can’t! At one point in The Fellowship of the Rings, Frodo Baggins tells Gandalf the wizard, that he wished the ring had never come to him and that he never had to go on this adventure, but Gandalf responds by saying, “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for us to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that’s been given us.” What are you going to do with the time that has been given to you? Will you retreat into your comfort and await the inevitable or will you join me and the rest of Cornerstone on an adventure to transform this world by making disciples of Jesus Christ!
Join us this Sunday, July 1st, as we Find Adventure on the River at both Sunday School at 9:30 AM and Worship at 10:30 AM. As a special treat we will be led this Sunday by the youth worship team of First UMC of Rowlett!