Adult Object Lesson: John 21:1-19


Receiving the Call

This week’s Gospel revisits the concepts of call and commission. The structure of the Church today grows from Jesus’ threefold exchange with Simon Peter. The concept of call among clergy can be profound. Pastors discuss with passion the moment or process that brought them to “their call.” The process is a bit fuzzier for lay people and it often comes with less recognition and respect. The concept of call is not limited to clergy. Each person sitting in your church has a call. Some answer it with ease. Some struggle to discern and follow it.  Tell the story of Simon Peter’s call. Remember, Jesus was talking to an ordinary man — a fisherman. He was meeting with him in his place of work—the seaside. Jesus and Simon Peter have a threefold exchange. We view this conversation as atonement for Peter’s threefold denial of Christ as he waited in the courtyard prior to the Crucifixion.

Do you love me? Yes, I love you. Feed my lambs.   Do you love me? Yes, I love you. Tend my sheep.   Do you love me? Yes, I love you. Feed my sheep.

Jesus packs a lot into a few short words. His message to us today is also told in three short words.

Love one another.

Put a person’s name in front of his two-word quote and you have another three-word quote.

Simon, follow me. Joe, follow me. Bridget, follow me.

Talk with people about their sense of call. Listen to their “call” stories. Chances are no one has ever asked them about their “call.” Your object today can be a cell phone. Ask two or three members in advance to leave their cell phones on. Call them right there during your sermon. Tell them you have a biblical message for them and a question. The biblical message: (Person’ name), follow me. The question: How will you follow the Lord? Consider finding ways to recognize the call of lay people. It can only make the Church stronger!

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