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Choose Me!

"Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him."  - Matthew 4:21-22

After my parents divorced and remarried, I left my lifelong home, my larger family, and my friends.  I moved across the country, into a new home, new neighborhood, and a new school.  I remember the first day in gym class, lined up on the wall, waiting for one of the team captains to pick me....hoping I would not be last.  I was chunky, soft spoken, and shy.  Nobody knew me, and I was making it hard to get to know me because I was turned inward.  I was indeed the last to be picked.  I remember the captain didn't even point at me, he just assumed I would know where to go since I was last.  I remember that feeling, do you?

James and John were later known as the "sons of thunder".  They were fiery and impulsive, not the sort you would think the Prince of Peace would recruit to be peacemakers.  They would have spent their early years in their version of school.  They probably didn't get skipped over in gym class, but we do know that they got skipped over.  During Jesus' time, school did not end at a specific grade, but ended when the students were no longer chosen to move forward.  If these young men had been chosen, they would have still been studying with a Rabbi to become a Rabbi or a scribe, but for some reason, they had been passed over.  When Jesus, a Rabbi, called them, he was choosing them to move forward in their education.  He was choosing them to become Rabbis.  This explains their response, of course they set aside their nets, they had only picked them up because they had not been chosen.  Jesus didn't pick from among those that were still in school, those that were the best of the best, he picked from those that had not been chosen.  

God has a long history of choosing those that were otherwise passed over.  As the song "Nobody" by Casting Crown says:

Moses had stage fright
When David brought a rock to a sword fight
You picked twelve outsiders nobody would have chosen
And You changed the world  


Why You ever chose me 
Has always been a mystery 
All my life I've been told I belong 
At the end of the line 
With all the other not-quites 
With all the never-get-it-rights 
But it turns out they're the ones You were looking for 
All this time.


So, if you every find yourself feeling heavy because you think you have been passed over, just remember that you are exactly who God is looking for.  
God, help us to know that we are chosen by you.  Help us to feel it.  Help us to live into that, and set aside the shame of the moments when we have not been chosen.  Remind us to include as many people as we can in all that we do, so that we spread the feeling of being chosen with those around us.  Amen.


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