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The Pastor’s Pen

The gulls at shore were in rare form at first light. The hundred voices raised such a cacophony that I peered into the growing light to catch a hint at all the fuss. Apparently they just had a lot to talk about while waiting for breakfast.

Anything can happen at the shore. A few steps further on I nearly stumbled over a complete set of clothing stacked neatly on the sidewalk. We’ve all seen the random shoe in the road thrown out the window no doubt by some kid in full tantrum, but this gave me pause. Who leaves everything from shoes to skivvies at this time of year and walks away? The disciples did. After they’d been up all night fishing, Jesus asked them to try again. In Luke 5 we read all about it.

When the fishermen were packing up their nets to call it quits, Jesus asked them to risk something different. “Don’t go home yet. Don’t quit. Resist the temptation to call it a day.” What happened next was hard. They were tired. Jesus said, “Cast your nets into deeper water. Simon Peter didn’t want to do it. He’d rather go home empty-handed than to try something another way. He almost missed out on winning the fishing lottery because he couldn’t get out of his own way.

“Simon answered Jesus, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.”When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.”When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.”

Simon took the risk of trusting this Jesus without any evidence that things would turn out all right. When what we’re doing isn’t providing the results we hope, Jesus says, “don’t give up. Cast your nets into deeper water where you can’t see the bottom. If you can see the bottom and only fish where you know what’s going to happen next, you don’t need God. God is loosed in the world looking for courageous people willing to follow Jesus into the deeps. We won’t get there by standing on the shore.

Prayer: God, give us brave faith and grateful hearts to quit the nets of our past and follow wherever your light leads. Amen

God’s grace, mercy and peace,

Pastor Anna V. Copeland