January 24, 2021

It’s Time (click here)

Passage: Jonah 3:1–5, 10; Mark 1:14–20


JANUARY  24th  2021





  • St. Andrew's welcomes you to this online worship service. We pray that in spite of all the shortcomings of not being able to gather together and the pitfalls of technology, that this will be for you a blessed time of worship and praise of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  • Thank you to Rev. Shirley Cochrane for preparing the service and leading us in worship today.



God alone is our rock and our salvation.

We will not be shaken!

Trust in God at all times, O people.

We will pour out our hearts to God, our refuge.

In this time of worship, let us turn our lives to God and accept the good news.

We will listen for Christ’s call and follow him.


HYMN       248  At the dawning of salvation (no YouTube music available)

Online: Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me 



Lord Jesus Christ, you have called us together as your people. You have called us your friends and invited us to follow you. And so your church has grown from scattered homes in ancient times—to a worldwide community, embracing men and women, old and young, from many nations and cultures.

In our worship today, inspire us to wonder at the miracle of your church. Help us see the privilege we share to be part of your people across the ages and across the continents.

It is your love that keeps drawing us to you and to each other, and so we offer our wonder and praise with millions of people who also gather in your name this day. We also lift repentant hearts and minds  and confess together ….



God of all the ages, we gather in worship week by week, hoping to encounter your presence. But we confess it’s not easy to hear your voice.

Sometimes we get distracted by what’s happening around us.

Sometimes we get confused by conflicting views of what you expect from us.

Sometimes we feel challenged and resist a new word from you.

We confess it is hard to turn our lives around

when we think we already know where we’re going.

Lord, have mercy upon us. Forgive and bless us in the name of Jesus our Lord



Friends in Christ, believe in the good news. God’s steadfast love endures forever.

Trust that God’s forgiveness is for you. Be at peace with God, with yourself and with each other, in the name of Christ our Lord.



The peace of Christ  be  with you


HYMN       645  Follow me the Master said (accompaniment only so come back here for the words after you click play)

1. 'Follow me,' the Master said:
we will follow Jesus.
By his word and Spirit led,
we will follow Jesus.
Still for us he lives to plead,
at the throne will intercede,
offers help in time of need;
we will follow Jesus.

2. Should the world and sin oppose,
we will follow Jesus.
He is greater than our foes;
we will follow Jesus.
On his promise we depend;
he will hear us and defend,
help and keep us to the end;
we will follow Jesus.

3. Though the way may dark appear,
we will follow Jesus.
He will make our pathway clear;
we will follow Jesus.
In our daily round of care,
as we plead with God in prayer,
with the cross which we must bear,
we will follow Jesus.

4. Ever keep that end in view;
we will follow Jesus.
All his promises are true;
we will follow Jesus.
When this earthly course is run,
and the Master says, 'Well done!'
life eternal we have won;
we will follow Jesus.



Jonah 3:1–5, 10

3 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time:

2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”

3 Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it.

4 Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.”

5 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.

10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.


Mark 1:14–20

15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!

”16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.

17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”

18 At once they left their nets and followed him.

19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets.

20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

SERMON: It's Time

In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit .


Fishing … our stories today sound like they have something to do with fish.Then again, maybe they are “Hey,  you !; Yes, YOU “ stories … but it struck me  that just maybe they are “It’s  Time “ stories .


Of course  my  mind got stuck for a minute or so on the Fishing …..when my brother and I were children, our dad sometimes  took us fishing  in a rowboat on a small lake – It was fun – sometimes -  sometimes  just boring sitting there – until a lovely rainbow trout actually got hooked . I don’t know how many of you folks have  indulged in the sport of fishing- enjoying the companionship of another  and taking in the peace of the environment .


But fishing is more than that ! I know a wee bit about it  My sons have been in the fishing profession for a good part of their lives.  Son number one, for many years during  the summer took tourists on charters on the unpredictable waters off BC’s north coast  looking  or salmon and halibut. In the off season, he was a commercial fisherman. Son number two has been a off shore fisherman for the majority of his life. Son number three lasted a little short of a summer season fishing with his brother in some rather wild  offshore weather and  said -  “not for me, thank you ! he took up  building construction – on land !


While the life of a fisherman might include beautiful sunrises and sunsets, some great camaraderie, and maybe even a free fish dinner once in a while, it is an extremely tough job that requires infinite patience, a strong body and mind, and maximum endurance....


I have known a lot of fishermen -  some who have lived to a ripe old age,  and some  whose life was cut short by the ferocity of the ocean.  It is a dangerous occupation.

In scripture, we have two stories today– at least a part of each. The first  is about a guy to whom God calls  to go on a mission. We think of Jonah as a fish story. But it is not. One day God  tells Jonah  “get up and go to Nineveh and tell her what I tell you to tell them.”  Huh !  You got to be kidding God !  It’s far to dangerous for me to do that -  and he exits the door and runs away to sea. That’s where the fish part comes in .

Now we need to remember  that in the years following the Babylonian Exile, there was a spirit of bitterness and vengefulness toward foreigners. The people of Nineveh,  a part of the nation of Assyria were known to be heartless and cruel people. After a battle, the Assyrians would take any survivors and impale them or cut off their heads and pile them up in pillars. .. The basic message given by God to Jonah is simply “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned.”   …no conditions.  Time’s up !  God has every intention of reducing the city to nothing.

Eventually and Reluctantly ,Jonah obeys the word of the Lord and goes, Half-heartedly, Jonah leaves the beach, hot foots it to the city and speaks the word of the Lord.  And then …..

Perhaps the people of Nineveh thought God was going to do to them what they had done to others. Then a strange thing happens. They believe the message !

They declare a fast, - all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth... Even the king. Their actions so impress God that there is a change of heart. “When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.”  If you know the rest of the story, Jonah was right ticked off with God - but that’s another sermon.

Now to our second story. You may recall the Jewish folks of the first century where still longing for a Messiah  - one who would make all things right .

Simon and Andrew are commercial fishermen—nothing wrong with that—well acquainted with the challenge of the dangers that comes with working on water -but they want more. We find them  hard at work, throwing their nets into the lake, when Jesus shows up!

Jesus says, (Mark 1:15), “The time has come. The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!...Follow me.”. Sounds simple enough - but he is not just asking them to take a stroll around the shore. He is inviting them to become his DISCIPLES.

When Jesus  summons Simon, Andrew, James, and John, these fellows aren’t encountering a charismatic stranger for the first time. It’s not that he suddenly breaks into their lives announcing that their number’s up in the great discipleship sweepstakes. They are hearing a familiar preacher and perhaps even a friend telling them that the time for a new direction has arrived. Jesus is ready – now - they need to be, too. Time’s up !

Time to move from preparation to action.. Time to enlist help in a ministry that is about proclaiming repentance, urging people to adopt a new outlook on their world and their place in it  Time to  acknowledge a gracious God’s authority over the things that never stop enabling death and oppression.

Unlike Jonah, when Jesus calls, these fisher folk  drop everything -  no  hesitation. In fact, Mark keeps repeating the same word, “immediately,” to emphasize the urgency of the call of Jesus, and the response of these first disciples.

A disciple in those days was described as someone who “walked in the dust of the rabbi’s sandals.” That is what the disciples of Jesus did; for three years, they walked, ate, and slept where he did  They watched, listened, and asked questions. Jesus taught them, challenged them when they got out of line, and encouraged them when their faith was weak. When they were ready, he sent them out to do what he did, and upon returning,  they shared their stories, strengthened their positions and went out again..

When Jesus said, “I will send you out to fish for people,” he is telling us that the focus of our lives should be on people. Work is good, accomplishments honor God, but the greatest impact in our lives will be the people whose lives we touch.

A disciple talks with Jesus, prays for miracles, studies scripture, stretches their abilities, and talks to God about life experiences. A disciple sees where God is working—in the family, church, school, workplace, or community—and joins Jesus where they are at. Jesus gives us an audacious goal, in Luke 6:40 we are told, “A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.”

Jesus calls all of us to a life of loving and caring for people. He calls us to draw people into the kingdom of God, by actions and words, and to make the life we share together a taste of God’s eternal kingdom, filled with righteousness, peace and joy. This is our calling.

When we look at the world, we see so many things that are not right: Inequality, injustice, poverty, bribery, and lack of concern for the poor and oppressed. Economic and political powers are too often corrupt, and the powerful abuse the weak. We dream of a world of justice, where all is made right. We all want out lives to count for something, and sometimes it is hard to figure out how we can have a lasting impact.

Are you recognizing It’s Time  --time  to fish for something greater and more lasting.

With all of the unmistakable unrest and threat in the air today, we need to be alert and attuned to developments in news cycles and to the suffering that so many  people are experiencing God is calling us to stand up and get busy in perhaps some new area, following Jesus into a new season of discovering how the Spirit is forming us and the people we serve. Think of all the people who are waiting for the good news -- people who will hear the proclamation “Time’s up” and experience untold relief and freedom.

Jonah understood the work assigned to him was dangerous . The fishermen disciples  took a while to figure out the role of discipleship is dangerous.  When God calls, do we go willingly or grudgingly? When we are challenged, are we like Jonah… or the Ninevites  or the fishermen?  Do we recognize we are called  to do something different in the service of our Lord ?

Do we lack faith that the word of God and the Holy Spirit can work changes and bring about a change of mind where it is needed? Is God calling you , saying: “Get up ,  go, .   It’s Time

Is Jesus is nudging you to expand your circle of influence, care more deeply for people who do not know Christ, and bring the kingdom for righteousness, peace, and joy into your work, your home, your church, or your community. ?

Few of us will be publicly recognized for doing great things, or changing the course of history. It will not be easy, but the one who calls you and me is the risen Lord.  AMEN


HYMN       648I’m gonna live so God can use me




Jesus asked his first disciples to answer his call with their lives. Our offering is one way we answer his call and carry forward his ministry in the world. Consider what Christ can accomplish through the gifts you offer today.



Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;

Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!



Lord Jesus, you called ordinary men and women to follow you and join in the work of God’s reign on earth. We offer you our gifts to share in the work you began through them. So bless our gifts and continue to work through us, that the world may know your love and grace is still active among us all. Amen.



God of fishers ,farmers and factory workers,

God of those serving in health care, hospitality and at home,

God of our offices and businesses, our stores and our streets,

our schools and recreation centres, of emergency services and entertainers,

we thank you for the many ways we can serve your purposes.

You called Jesus’ first followers to change their livelihoods and so they did.

Today we pray for all those whose work has changed without their choice

because of COVID-19;

for those struggling with little or no work, whose businesses are in jeopardy,

who fear for what this year may hold.

Assure them of their value to you and to us all.

Give them courage and perseverance as the future unfolds.

God, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.


God of the churches who bear your Son’s name, whatever denomination or perspective or tradition that shapes us, we thank you for the fellowship we share and the gifts of the Spirit we receive.

We pray that the differences between us will not blunt our witness to Jesus and the healing and hope he offers. Teach us to value diversity in our discipleship and honour what unites us more than what divides us, so that the world may see Jesus reflected in all our lives.

We pray for the Presbyterian congregation in Kelowna where members were preparing the video service for last week. Someone came into the parking lot – loosened the nuts on the  wheel studs of someones car.  The results  was an accident while travelling on the road .We give grateful thanks  no one was seriously injured but trauma and fear remain . Violence and vandalism  have no place Lord and we ask for your healing hand on all who were affected

Today we lift to you the congregations, clergy, leadership and church groups here in Salmon Arm. Like many, we deeply feel the loss of gathering together , of united prayer and singing your praise, of fellowship in the company o each other. Yet as your word speaks and says “Remind  the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good.” (Titus 3:1) we give thanks for those folks  committed in their  roles of leadership through this season of uncertainty.

God, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.


God of our cities and towns, of our villages and reserves,

God of all nations and neighbourhoods,

of all clans and tribes, cultures and families that shape our identities,

you created us for community,

to find enjoyment and support, collaboration and productivity together.

We pray for all those who suffer because others judge their identities,

their language or religion, their orientation or ethnicity,

their social standing or lack of resources.

Guide us all to appreciate our common humanity

and find ways to learn from each other through our differences.

Help us to recognize the face of Christ in those who challenge our assumptions.

God, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.


God of all times and situations,

We bear on our hearts concerns for many around us,

people we know and situations we care about,

where suffering exerts its power and challenges seem overwhelming.

Hear us in this time of silence as we open our hearts and their needs to you:


( add your personal prayers.)


Bind up the broken hearted, O God.

Bring justice for the vulnerable.

Send your Spirit of healing and hope to embrace those who need you.

We dare to ask all this because we trust in the name of Jesus, your Son,

who taught all his followers to pray:


The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on 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 ,forever. Amen.


HYMN       641  One more step  along the world I go



May Jesus himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence, put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, enliven your speech.

And may the grace of God, the love of Jesus and the power of the |Holy Spirit  be with you  now and forever


SUNG BLESSING:  Teach me God to wonder