Homily for November 30th, 2016:
Simon and his brother
fishermen. Yet at Jesus’ call, they immediately leave their nets and boat and
follow him. Their nets and boat were their livelihood, their security. They
were burning their bridges behind them. Why? If we could have asked them, I
think they might have said something like this: “You would have to have known
this man Jesus. There was something about him that made it impossible to say
God still calls today. He called each one of us when we were still in our mothers’ wombs. He calls us to walk with him, to be so full of his love that others will see the joy on our faces and want what we have. Christianity, it has been said, cannot be taught. It must be caught.
Perhaps you’re thinking: “I could never do that.” You’re wrong. Here is a list that came to me in an e-mail, years ago, of some of the great people in the Bible. Every one of them had a reason for thinking God could not use them. So the next time you feel like God can’t use you, remember:
“Noah was a drunk. Abraham was too old. Isaac was a daydreamer. Jacob was a liar. Leah was ugly. Joseph was abused by his brothers. Moses had a stuttering problem. Gideon was afraid. Sampson had long hair and was a womanizer. Rahab was a prostitute. Jeremiah and Timothy thought they were too young. David had an extra-marital affair and was a murderer. Elijah was suicidal. Isaiah thought himself unworthy. Jonah ran away from God’s call. Naomi was a widow. Job went bankrupt. Martha was a perpetual worrier. The Samaritan woman who spoke with Jesus at the well was five times divorced. Zaccheus was too small. Peter denied Christ. The disciples fell asleep while praying. At Jesus’ arrest, they all forsook him and fled. Paul was too religious. Timothy had an ulcer. And Lazarus was dead!”
So what’s your excuse? Whatever it may be, God can still use you to your full potential. Besides, you aren’t the message. You’re only the messenger.
When you were born, you were crying, and everyone around you was smiling. Start today (if you haven’t started already) living your life so that when you die, you’re the only one smiling, and everyone around you is crying.