Sunday, March 18, 2018

Lent5: Rehab: Promise


• Fifth Sunday of Lent
with Jeremiah 31:31-34
www.FirstChurchBville.com    @FirstUMCBville   @kerrfunk
This sermon was broadcast on Facebook Live 3/18/18 https://www.facebook.com/FUMCWV/
#rehab #promise #umcgbod #lent

• 40 day season of spiritual preparation before the Easter celebration.
This season we’re following the lectionary and the denomination’s suggestion for a sermon series called REHAB. Why REHAB? As a part of our spiritual preparation before the Easter celebration. We’ve talked about the need to follow Jesus into the wilderness of rehab, open to the possibility that in the prayer, fasting, self-denial of the desert, and even in the face of pain, discomfort, and suffering, God can be working in us, God may in fact need the focus of the desert for us to be positioned for healing.
• One thing we may always have to deal with is the present vs the projected future, losing sight of the long term goal. In recovery I can get bogged down in the craving of the moment, or I can trust in the promise of hope, even if I can’t see it just yet.
[story from A Prayer For Owen Meany when Owen and John are playing basketball at dusk. Owen asks if John can see the statue at the other end of the lot, even though it’s dark. John says he knows it’s there even if he can’t see it. Owen says that’s how it is with God. I know he’s there even if I can’t see him.]
• Story of Jeremiah. 120 years after fall of northern kingdom. Real time things are looking bad. Jeremiah clings to hope of God’s promise “I will be with you.” Jeremiah even purchases land, demonstrating solidarity and planting hope.
• Jack Lengyl responds to Red Dawson’s cry that the Young Thundering Herd is disgracing the 75 that died. Not today not tomorrow, this season or next, but one day winning will matter, and then we’ll honor them.
• Another thing about WeAreMarshall is community. Team 71 lost. Team 72 lost. It’d be a decade before winning season, but the wins that would come could only come if the team didn’t stop, and the winning team in 84 belonged to all of Marshall for the years prior.
• And along the way, when one of us can’t see past the struggle, the community steps in bearing the affected while bearing the hope the promise as well.
I will be with you.
• I will be with you, you are not alone. Your sin grief shame are in the past. You will smile and laugh again. You will be free from slavery.
• Song Who Am I? by Casting Crowns
Not because of who I am
But because of what you've done
Not because of what I've done
But because of who you are
Live now while hoping in promise of future. 
Bear hope and bear brethren.
• May God use this time of Lent to shape us into disciples and witnesses to God’s kingdom.
• Hymn 368 My Hope is Built

Jeremiah 31:31-34 (HCSB)
31 Listen to the Lord’s declaration: “Look, the days are coming when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 32 This one will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant they broke even though I had married them”—says the Lord. 33 “Instead, this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days. I will put My teaching within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people. 34 No longer will one teach his neighbor or his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least to the greatest of them.” This is what the Lord declares. “For I will forgive their wrongdoing and never again remember their sin.”ò

John 12:20-28 (HCSB)
20 Now some Greeks were among those who went up to worship at the festival. 21 So they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we want to see Jesus.”
22 Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 Jesus replied to them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 I assure you: Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces a large crop. 25 The one who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me. Where I am, there My servant also will be. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.
27 “Now My soul is troubled,” Jesus said. “What should I say—Father, save Me from this hour? But that is why I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify Your name!”
Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again!” ò

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Lent3: Rehab: Program


• Third Sunday of Lent
with Exodus 20:1-17
www.FirstChurchBville.com    @FirstUMCBville   @kerrfunk
This sermon was broadcast on Facebook Live 3/04/18 https://www.facebook.com/FUMCWV/ and can also be found by itself at https://youtu.be/H50mEhKBT04
#rehab #program #umcgbod #lent

• Lent is a 40 day season of spiritual preparation before the Easter celebration.
This season we’ll be following the lectionary and the denomination’s suggestion for a sermon series called REHAB. Why REHAB? As a part of our spiritual preparation before the Easter celebration. Last week talked about the need to have our thinking interrupted – have an intervention – to follow Jesus into the wilderness of rehab, open to the possibility that in the prayer, fasting, self-denial of the desert, and even in the face of pain, discomfort, and suffering, God can be working in us, God may in fact need the focus of the desert for us to be positioned for healing.
• One of my favorite words is grace. Unmerited favor. It literally means “gift”. God gives grace not because of who we are but because of who God is. God gives us the gifts of life and even the means of reconciliation when we choose away from God. God says I give you the means to avoid and triumph over that kind of living that leads to brokenness and death. I give you the building blocks of character and community living. Teach honor, respect, live within means. Guide relationship & be light to world.
• The grace we’ll talk about first today is the ten commandments 10C. Common, perhaps quaint, not earth-shattering, unless you consider they’re given by the Maker of Matter, to people, as a guide, a program how to live, in relationship to God and in relationship to each other. We read in Deuteronomy they’re given “so that it may go well with you.” Live this way and live.
Use the 10C to consider questions of today. How can I keep the Sabbath holy while harboring hidden sin? Lust, a grudge, some barrier between me and thee?
Consider the 10C to weigh whether a situation calls for laying down or picking up of arms, to stand on principle of sacredness of life or to carry same principle another step to prevent the loss of another life?
Do the homework, with prayer and fasting and self-examination.
• Early Methodist holiness club held each other accountable.
They’d ask
How is it with your soul, have you any known sins…
Also Do you expect to be made perfect in this life?
And they’d answer Yes. By grace of God. Not by our own ability but by God in us.
• Consider the 10C as a format for wellness, a program for recovery.
Do this that it may go well with you.
We are invited to participate in God’s holiness/wholeness program.
• And in holy communion Jesus invites us to participate in his saving act and giving of grace.

• May God use this time of Lent to shape us into disciples and witnesses to God’s kingdom.

• Hymn 616 Come, Sinners, to the Gospel Feast

A Responsive Reading on Exodus 20:1-17
(adapted from Book of Worship, abridged from The Book of Common Prayer)

Leader: God spoke from the mountain and said:
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery;
you shall have no other gods before me.”
Almighty God, write your law upon our hearts,
and help us to keep it.
“You shall not make for yourself an idol.
You shall not make wrongful use
    of the name of the Lord your God.
Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy.”
Almighty God, write your law upon our hearts,
and help us to keep it.
 “Honor your father and your mother.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness.
You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
Almighty God, write your law upon our hearts,
and help us to keep it.
Silence
Sung Response 473: Lead me, Lord. Lead me in thy righteousness. Make thy way plain before my face. For it is thou, Lord, thou, Lord only, that makest me dwell in safety.
Pastor: In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven. Sin no more.
People: In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven. Sin no more. Glory to God! Amen!
Pastor: The peace of Christ rule in your hearts and reign in our midst.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Lent2: Rehab: Intervention

• Second Sunday of Lent
with Mark 8:31-38
www.FirstChurchBville.com    @FirstUMCBville   @kerrfunk
This sermon was broadcast on Facebook Live 2/25/18 https://www.facebook.com/FUMCWV/ and can also be found by itself at https://youtu.be/6xrTlMF2AI8
#rehab #intervention #umcgbod #lent

• Lent is a 40 day season of spiritual preparation before the Easter celebration.
This season we’ll be following the lectionary and the denomination’s suggestion for a sermon series called REHAB. Why REHAB? As a part of our spiritual preparation before the Easter celebration. Last week talked about the need to follow Jesus into the wilderness of rehab, open to the possibility that in the prayer, fasting, self-denial of the desert, and even in the face of pain, discomfort, and suffering, God can be working in us, God may in fact need the focus of the desert for us to be positioned for healing.
• I’ve participated in a 12-step program for a few years – this’ll come up more than once in a series called “rehab”, so bear with me. “You can’t get better unless you admit that you have a problem,” and part of recovery is rigorous honesty with self. Sometimes you need to talk to your sponsor, to interrupt your stinking thinking.
Sometimes you need intervention, which quite literally means “coming between”.
• Today’s scripture readings include intervention stories, interrupt-my-thinking stories.
Isaiah 64 is practically a plea to God to break into the fabric of our lives because we’re messed up and we need saved! And after gaining the disciples’ trust Jesus tells them the plan which includes walking into the fire, Peter thinks he knows better, Peter tries to tell Jesus otherwise, and Jesus interrupts Peter’s thinking. Get behind me, Satan! Whoa!
Peter’s thinking of self-preservation, in the guise of thinking about Jesus’ safety.
Trying to preserve self we deny need for savior and decline savior’s ability to save.
Jesus: if you’re not with me you’re against me, and I want you with me! To follow me is to embrace self-denial, to pick up cross. You cannot follow me AND set the course for your recovery: you set the course for your recovery BY following me, letting ME and the Holy Spirit identify your stinking thinking and then letting me and the HS set the course for your recovery.
• Recovery is not easy. It is relinquishing control,
BUT/AND it is putting self in the hands of who?
of the one who knows you best, loves you best, literally died for you.
& if we cannot / will not / do not admit that we are stuck in sin we will DIE in sin.
• THE GOOD NEWS is that when we are in Christ, pain and suffering and even death no longer have dominion over us. Jesus took that stuff to the cross and to the tomb – it wasn’t easy for him and it isn’t easy for us but it is through that love that we emerge in recovery.
• And again, we do not go alone. Christ goes before us, and Holy Spirit goes with us in our caregivers and fellow disciples in recovery.
• Woman walking down the road, fell into a pit. Could not get out. Called out for help. [some people pass by and offer advice, even prayer]. Another woman comes along and jumps down into pit. Why?! Now we’re both stuck here! No, says second woman. I know how to get out, see I’ve been in this pit before.
• So it is with Christ, and so recovery. Through intervention we get rid of stinking thinking and get in position for God to work in us.
• What thinking might you be clinging to that comes between you and Lord?
Pray for interrupted thinking, plus courage to pick up cross and follow Jesus.

• May God use this time of Lent to shape us into disciples and witnesses to God’s kingdom.

• Hymn 373 Nothing Between My Soul and My Savior

Mark 8:31-38 (HCSB)       
31 Then Jesus began to teach the disciples that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, be killed, and rise after three days. 32 He was openly talking about this. So Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him.
33 But turning around and looking at His disciples, Jesus rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan, because you’re not thinking about God’s concerns, but man’s!”

34 Summoning the crowd along with His disciples, Jesus said to them, “If anyone wants to be My follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me and the gospel will save it. 36 For what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world yet lose his life? 37 What can a man give in exchange for his life? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” ò

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Lent1: Rehab: Wilderness

First Sunday of Lent
with Mark 1:2-9
www.FirstChurchBville.com    @FirstUMCBville   @kerrfunk
This sermon was broadcast on Facebook Live 2/18/18 https://www.facebook.com/FUMCWV/
#rehab #wilderness #umcgbod #lent

• Lent is a 40 day season of spiritual preparation before the Easter celebration inspired by Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness we read in Mark 1.
This season we’ll be following the lectionary and the denomination’s suggestion for a sermon series called REHAB. Why REHAB? As a part of our spiritual preparation before the Easter celebration.
• Rehab covers a lot of things. Rehab for addiction to drugs or alcohol. Also rehab after knee replacement or heart attack. Likely a painful time with drastic change of behavior. Not exactly something to look forward to, but something to endure. Rehab begins by going into the wilderness, by following Jesus into the wilderness.
• Wilderness is not a bad thing. It’s a new thing, a thing that involves change.
Some of my wildernesses: moving to Pennsylvania from Iowa.
Having knee surgery. Dealing with grief. Dealing with personal substance abuse.
Wilderness not a bad thing but not a comfortable thing, a place where discipline is necessary, and trust that you’re not alone and that not only is God with you but God is willing and able to work in you to shape you mold you prune you prepare you.
• We do not go into the wilderness alone. And it is in the wilderness that the first steps of reconciliation and healing and wholeness are taken.
• Jesus’ time in the wilderness prepared him for his mission to bring reconciliation and healing and wholeness to humankind. And when his time in the wilderness was complete, he began to preach the good news of the kingdom of God, and of repentance.

Where are you feeling in the wilderness?
Pour yourself into this time with self examination and prayer and fasting and self-denial. These are some of the tools God uses. And come and worship and be made new.

• May God use this time of Lent to shape us into disciples and witnesses to God’s kingdom.

• Hymn 338 Where He Leads Me

Mark 1:9-15 (HCSB)
9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. 10 As soon as He came up out of the water, He saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending to Him like a dove.
11 And a voice came from heaven:
You are My beloved Son; I take delight in You!
12 Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness.
13 He was in the wilderness 40 days, being tempted by Satan.
He was with the wild animals, and the angels began to serve Him.
14 After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee, preaching the good news of God:
15 “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near.
Repent and believe in the good news!
ò

1 Peter 3:18-22 (HCSB)
18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring you to God, after being put to death in the fleshly realm but made alive in the spiritual realm.

19 In that state He also went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison 20 who in the past were disobedient, when God patiently waited in the days of Noah while an ark was being prepared. In it a few—that is, eight people—were saved through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the pledge of a good conscience toward God) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 22 Now that He has gone into heaven, He is at God’s right hand with angels, authorities, and powers subject to Him. ò

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Miracles and Maturity

• Transfiguration Sunday
with Mark 9:2-9  and 2 Corinthians 4:3-6
www.FirstChurchBville.com    @FirstUMCBville   @kerrfunk
A video of this sermon can be found here: https://youtu.be/cSAFwXBsoMQ

I’m re-reading a favorite book lately, savoring the taste. It’s the 2001 debut novel by Leif Enger Peace Like A River, name from the hymn It Is Well With My Soul, and I think of it every time Transfiguration Sunday comes around.
How is it with your soul, by the way?
Miracles are disturbing. Every miracle requires a witness.
read excerpts:
“Let me say something about that word: miracle. For too long it's been used to characterize things or events that, though pleasant, are entirely normal. Peeping chicks at Easter time, spring generally, a clear sunrise after an overcast week--a miracle, people say, as if they've been educated from greeting cards.” 
“Real miracles bother people, like strange sudden pains unknown in medical literature. It's true: They rebut every rule all we good citizens take comfort in. Lazarus obeying orders and climbing up out of the grave - now there's a miracle, and you can bet it upset a lot of folks who were standing around at the time. When a person dies, the earth is generally unwilling to cough him back up. A miracle contradicts the will of the earth.”
“No miracle happens without a witness. Someone to declare Here’s what I saw. Here’s how it went. Make of it what you will.” 
How then is it that at the transfiguration Jesus says Don’t tell til later?
It was not an opportune time.
Peter wasn’t ready.
Peter had some maturing to do.
Peter was eager, but impulsive and not seasoned.
• Yesterday I participated in a workshop having to do with maturing disciples. From membership to discipleship. In our biblical narrative, Peter goes from eager to Peter empowered. How? By spending time with Jesus & others, by setting self aside, by working and serving.
• What do people want from church as they mature? More relationship with Jesus, more Bible understanding, more challenge, more opportunity to serve (and give!)
Christianity is not something you graduate!
As Christian maturity increases, so humility and hunger for God increase.
• 2 Cor 4:5 We are not proclaiming ourselves but Jesus Christ,
and we are your servants because of him.
• To make [maturing] disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
As Peter needed to mature so we do.
Lenten reflection and discipline for spiritual growth: Pray, fast, listen, respond.
• Because of the gift of Jesus, the love of Jesus.
• Hymn 172 My Jesus I Love Thee

Mark 9:2-9 (HCSB) 
2 After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up on a high mountain by themselves to be alone. He was transformed in front of them, 3 and His clothes became dazzling—extremely white as no launderer on earth could whiten them. 4 Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.
5 Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it’s good for us to be here! Let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”— 6 because he did not know what he should say, since they were terrified.
7 A cloud appeared, overshadowing them, and a voice came from the cloud:
     This is My beloved Son; listen to Him!
8 Then suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus alone.
9 As they were coming down from the mountain, He ordered them to tell no one what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. ò

2 Corinthians 4:3-6 (HCSB)

3 But if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glorious Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we are not proclaiming ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your slaves because of Jesus. 6 For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ. ò

Sunday, January 28, 2018

One With Authority

• Fourth Sunday after Epiphany
with Mark 1:21-28
www.FirstChurchBville.com    @FirstUMCBville   @kerrfunk
A video of this sermon can be found here: https://youtu.be/p_y0pABTnEU
• Do you remember when email came out? Then the internet. WWW in 1983. It took over 25 years for the internet to reach a zettabyte of information. I never heard of zetta. Kilo mega giga tera peta exa zetta. Twentyone zeroes. For scale: number of seconds since Jesus was born: about 63 billion. Only 9 zeroes. Some estimates age of universe at 13.8 billion years. 435 quadrillion seconds. Only 15 zeroes. 435 quadrillion microseconds, that’s the scale of a zettabyte of data, and it took 25 years to reach that level.
How long to double that? 2 years. Expected 2 zettabytes by end of 2019. That’s just counting to 100,000 in a second, every second of imagined time.
All that information and we still don’t know what to make of a story about demons. 
We’re skeptical and seek to rationalize, put into terms that we can understand, but even if I explain a zettabyte to you do you really understand it? I don’t. I don’t understand internet. Or even electricity. But I approach them with caution and with knowledge of who/whose I am, also speaking in tongues. Can’t explain it, can be faked, but… could be genuine.
• We learn about Jesus: He’s different from the rest. Not like the others. Unique (Before Christmas I shared that Christ was Sufficient, Unique, Necessary, here comes the SUN). Innate authority. Not described, but you just know, that’s the impression.  Jesus has authority, & here’s a mic-drop example.
By the way, recall I will be with you always
that power is not far off but it is near.
There is no situation where we should be saying,
Yeah not even God can handle this one
• We learn about power of evil, & it recognizes good & is afraid. Hollywood scream? Dono. Maybe. But point is spiritual powers acknowledged one another, & knew Jesus was the victor.
• A father said to his child they went to church to make God smaller. God is so big, beyond understanding: go to church, make God smaller, understand God.  The child: I think to make God bigger. What do you mean? Smaller doesn’t make you go Oh!
Experience God, be amazed, be changed & change your life, and tell.
What happened after this? People told This is what happened. It was Jesus.

• Hymn 371 I Stand Amazed at the Presence

Mark 1:21-28 (HCSB)  
21 Jesus and his disciples left the Sea of Galilee and went into the village of Capernaum, and right away they entered the synagogue. It was the Sabbath and Jesus began to teach. 22 Everyone was astonished at His teaching because, unlike the scribes, He was teaching them as one having authority.
23 Just then a man with an unclean spirit was in their synagogue. He cried out, 24 “What do You have to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?** Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”
25 But Jesus rebuked him and said, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” 26 And the unclean spirit convulsed him, shouted with a loud voice, and came out of him.
27 Then they were all amazed, so they began to argue with one another, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.” 28 News about Him then spread throughout the entire vicinity of Galilee. ò
**Nazareth is about forty miles from Capernaum


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Let's Get Political

• Third Sunday after Epiphany
with Mark 1:14-20  and Jonah 3:1-10
www.FirstChurchBville.com    @FirstUMCBville   @kerrfunk
A video of this sermon can be found here: https://youtu.be/t_bJBmHOvRc

• For the first time I’m going to talk about politics.
Not really. “Political” has to do with government, laws,
how society is ordered.
I am NOT telling anyone how to vote,
or affirming or deriding any individual or party.
I will not change my interaction with you
based on either one of our political affiliations.
Politics are part of our daily landscape, and
to be a follower of Jesus is a political decision.
• A year and a day ago Donald Trump took the oath of POTUS, and it is not partisan to say that it’s been a year with a lot of attention and tension and that political fervor is elevated. It’s not partisan to report that presidential approval polls show President Trump with record low numbers and that our nation is in the historic situation of a govt shutdown with exec, sen, and house in R party.
Why did the gov’t shutdown? Because parties and elected officers stalemate, not budging, and it’s arguable that a good number are not budging not because of principle but because of party.
• We just read from book of Jonah, 3rd chapter.
You remember chaps 1&2, God’s call and Jonah’s response. 
Why did Jonah flee? He was afraid of the people.
He knew how they were going to respond, right?
And rather than go with God, he fled.
Jonah ended up repenting – changing his heart
and mind and action – and we pick up on reading today
And we are surprised to see his message is received immediately and genuinely! There is not a stalemate, there is a turn to the Lord, and there is relief from the Lord!
Following God is a political decision.
It will affect how we relate to society, individuals, events.
• Earlier we read from Gospel of Mark, Jesus preaching the good news that the kingdom of God has come near, preaching repentance, calling Peter and Andrew and James and John to change their lives and follow him.
The kingdom of God has come near. Good news. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light. God is now here and our job as disciples is to figure out what has God done in Jesus, and what does it mean that Jesus lived among us 2K years ago?
• One thing is teachings of Jesus. Learn them, follow them, live them, teach them.
(again, this is political. We’re talking about where authority and life influence are, and the political powers of Jesus’ day opposed him because people following Jesus threatened their credibility and power)
I’ve seen the fruit of worldly leadership,
and I want God in Jesus as my leader.
Following God is a political decision.
It will affect how we relate to society, individuals, events.
• The good news is not about a moral code or personal piety or “spirituality”
it’s about discipleship and life transformation,
patterning my life after Jesus, come what may.
The disciples we read about today, Jesus met them in the midst of their business, and they walked away to follow him.
They had something that was worth changing their lives for.
• And by the grace of God we can be disciples too, and have new life.

• Hymn 365 Grace Greater Than Our Sin

Mark 1:14-20 (HCSB)
14 After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee, preaching the good news of God: 15 “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe in the good news!”
16 As He was passing along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, Simon’s brother. They were casting a net into the sea, since they were fishermen.
17 “Follow Me,” Jesus told them, “and I will make you fish for people!” 18 Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. 19 Going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in their boat mending their nets. 20 Immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed Him. ò

Jonah 3:1-10 (HCSB)
3 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time:
2 “Get up! Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach the message that I tell you.”
3 So Jonah got up and went to Nineveh according to the Lord’s command.
Now Nineveh was an extremely large city, a three-day walk. 4 Jonah set out on the first day of his walk in the city and proclaimed, “In 40 days Nineveh will be demolished!” 5 The men of Nineveh believed in God. They proclaimed a fast and dressed in sackcloth—from the greatest of them to the least.
6 When word reached the king of Nineveh, he got up from his throne, took off his royal robe, put on sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 Then he issued a decree in Nineveh:
By order of the king and his nobles: No man or beast, herd or flock, is to taste anything at all. They must not eat or drink water. 8 Furthermore, both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth, and everyone must call out earnestly to God. Each must turn from his evil ways and from the violence he is doing. 9 Who knows? God may turn and relent; He may turn from His burning anger so that we will not perish.

10 Then God saw their actions—that they had turned from their evil ways—so God relented from the disaster He had threatened to do to them. And He did not do it. ò