Family Liturgies

Holy Interruptions

Samos Boatby Joanna Harader

Scripture: Mark 1:14-20

Memory Verse: “Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God.” ~Mark 1:14

Reflection:

Think, for a minute, about a time in the past few days that you were working–at school or at your job; fixing supper or doing laundry or cleaning your room. Whatever work you did this past week, imagine yourself doing it. . . .

Now imagine an interruption. The phone rings. A child needs a form signed. Your mom wants you to pick your backpack up off the floor. What does your interruption look like? . . . How does it make you feel? . . .

I’ll tell you how interruptions make me feel–grumpy! One thing I rarely do is willingly abandon my work. Not when I’m right in the middle of something. Not just because someone else wants my attention.

Yet Peter and Andrew, James and John all quit their work to follow Jesus–just because he asks. They don’t dismiss Jesus with an irritated excuse. They don’t take a brief time-out to talk to Jesus, all the while glancing back towards the net, the boat, the booth. “O.K. Man. I’ve got like three minutes. What do you need? What’s so important?”

They don’t even say, “Look, Jesus, just let me give my two weeks’ notice and I’ll catch up with you down the road.”

Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him.”

Somehow these disciples manage to understand that Jesus’ call on their lives is more important than the work they have been doing. They are able to recognize the interruption of Jesus not as an irritation or a distraction, but as a holy call to a more abundant life.

Discussion Questions:

  • What is your favorite kind of work to do? How do you feel if you get interrupted?
  • Obviously, Jesus is not doing to knock on our door or call us on the phone. So what does a call from Jesus look like today? Tell about a situation where you thought Jesus wanted you to do something—perhaps something you would rather not have done?

Activity

Fishing nets are made by knotting some kind of fiber together. Find some kind of fiber in your house: string, fishing line, yarn . . . whatever you have. Have each person in the family make a simple knotted bracelet, then tie them on each other’s wrists. When you get interrupted, touch the knots on the bracelet and remember that the interruption might be a way Jesus is calling you to follow him.

Prayer

Dear God,
Help us to hear the voice of Jesus in the interruptions of our lives.
Give us hearts that are open
And spirits that are willing
And hands that readily let go
So that we can follow you.
Amen.

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