This Week’s Theme
Becoming Fishers of Men
One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the lake of Gennesaret, many people pressed in on him to hear the Word. Noticing two boats by the lake, he got into one of the boats, which belonged to Simon and asked him to put out a little from the land, and then Jesus sat down and taught the people from the boat. When he was finished, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon replied that although they had toiled all night, taking nothing in, he would let down his net at the Lord’s word.
After they obeyed the Lord, they caught a large number of fish, so much so that their nets began to break. Signaling the other boat to come and help, they filled both boats so that they began to sink. When Simon saw it, he fell at Jesus’s knees, crying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” All those with Simon, including James and John, the sons of Zebedee and Simon’s partners, were astonished at the catch. Jesus then replied to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” When they brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Jesus.
Jesus commissions Simon and the sons of Zebedee not to be afraid by the obvious miracle of catching fish. From this time forward, they would be catching people (“to capture alive”). These disciples of Jesus would no longer be in the fishing business, catching dead fish for the market; rather, they now would catch people, releasing them for freedom!
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Eternal God our Father, grant us the vision to see what our true vocation is in life, as disciples of the Nazarene: to catch people alive, releasing them for the freedom and joy that is in Christ. Develop us into the fisher-folk that can catch others that Christ might liberate them! In Jesus’s name, amen.
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, Amen.
Praising Our God
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.
Listening to His Voice
Chronological Reading for the Day
Thursday: Deut. 13-16
Lectionary Readings for the Day
Psalm: Ps. 138
OT: Isa. 6.1-13
Gospel: Luke 5.1-11
NT: 1 Cor. 15.1-11
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling
Responding in Faith
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Departing to Serve
Lord Jesus Christ, he who called us to himself in our separate vocations in life, train us to become the catchers-of-people that bring honor to you and salvation to those who repent and believe in your name. However we serve and whatever our vocation, transform us into fishers of people, for your glory, amen.
Affirmation for the Day
Lord, we are not worthy of working with you; have mercy upon us!
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Show us, O Savior, how to catch others, leading them to faith in you alone.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
Becoming Fishers of Men
Coleman, The Master Plan of Evangelism