What I’m Thinking: The Muddles of Discipleship


The Rev. Linda Petrucelli will preach on Sunday, January 28, so this edition of “What I’m Thinking” is about the text for the following Sunday, February 4. It’s the one in which Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law.

Wait. Mother-in-law? Peter was married? So it seems. Which means the disciples wrestled with obligations familiar to us all.

Here’s a transcript:

Church of the Holy Cross will be blessed to hear from the Reverend Linda Petrucelli next Sunday, January 28th. Linda has recently retired after many years of distinguished service at Hilo Coast UCC in beautiful Honomu. So honestly, I rather wish that I could be there and to hear her message as well.

That also means that there won’t be an edition of “What I’m Thinking” next Monday.

Today, I’m in fact thinking about the lectionary texts for the first Sunday in February, and that’s the story of one of Jesus’ first healings. And who is it that he heals? Well, it’s the mother-in-law of Simon Peter.


I don’t want to tell you how old I was when I realized that, in order to have a mother-in-law, Simon Peter must have been married, at least at some point. Church tradition says that his wife had passed away long before he met Jesus.

But here’s a glimpse into some of the family lives of those first disciples. They really were living, breathing human beings, with troubles of their own and family obligations. And it’s out of that that Jesus called them to something new, and to something special.

Well, many of us have obligations that we can not leave behind. We really must continue to care for, in some cases elders, in some cases children. But that is, I think, also part of the discipleship to which Jesus calls us. We’re not called necessarily to some sort of clean and easy way of living and serving. We’re called into the real muddle, and the real mud, of the real world.

Caring where we can, doing what we can, loving as we may: That’s the muddle of discipleship.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear about what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you. And you’ve got an extra week!

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , , | Posted on January 21, 2018

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