Matthew 4:12-23 (NRSV)
Read Matthew 4:12-23 on biblegateway.com
Verse 12Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. Verse 13He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, Verse 14so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: Verse 15"Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali, on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles- Verse 16the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned." Verse 17From that time Jesus began to proclaim, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near."
Verse 18As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea-for they were fishermen. Verse 19And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fish for people." Verse 20Immediately they left their nets and followed him. Verse 21As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Verse 22Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.
Verse 23Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people.
The reign of God is near and light is shining. God calls people in a variety of ways to participate in God's mission to love, bless, and redeem the world. Sometimes the invitation is dramatic and involves a radical response and reorientation. But I think most of the time the invitation is more down-to-earth. God invites people to join in what God is doing right where they are, in the midst of their vocations and through the relationships they have with families, friends, coworkers, and neighbors.
The reign of God is near and light is shining. In this season of Epiphany, God is revealed through Jesus' love working in you and through you for the good of those around you. And God's presence is felt in the love and care you give — in the light you bring to dark places, in the healing you bring to broken places, and in the hope you bring to despairing places.
Gracious and loving God, thank you for your nearness. Help me to make your presence known to those I encounter today. Through Christ. Amen.