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Lectio: Luke 5.1-11

February 4, 2007

5:4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”
5:5 Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.”
5:6 When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break.

Jesus, a carpentar, knows more about fishing than these professional fisherman.
Simon Peter was by this point tired, worn out from a long night of fishing yet he obeyed.
Peter’s obedience led to a large catch… success!
Jesus essentially says “You ain’t seen nothin yet!” and tells Simon his destiny is a much more important catch: people.

I see myself as Peter in this story. I am tired, worn out from, well, from the combination of many things I guess: work, ministry, family. Part of what wears on me I think is seeing few tangible results. In terms of the church it looks to me like a small catch. I love the people we have gathered and we saw some significant growth last year and of course numerical growth is not the only or even the most important marker for us of growth (more on that in a another post). Yet, i fnd myself tired. Then Jesus walks into the story. My story. Right in the middle of being tired and disappointed he issues a command that essentially amounts to “Try again.” This has been the command that is ringing in my ears for several weeks: Try again. Don’t give up on the work of evangelism. Do the work of an evangelist. Gather. Proclaim. Scatter seed. This is part of my work, a large part in fact. Probably much larger than i even realize at this moment.

What has kept me from doing this work up till now?
– seeing few results
– re-defining numerical growth out of the equation as even one among many valid markers
– fear that a bigger catch = more work… when fishermen catch fish they have to clean them
– a threat to community – in this story the large catch almost sunk the boats.

What is the reality though?
– If Jesus is in fact calling me to re-initiate and emphasize evangelism (and I am untterly convinced he is!) then he must intend for it to be successful i.e. Jesus is not just cruelly teasing me/us
– numerical growth is a marker, one among others, that is valid to consider. I plan to do a whole post on this soon
– bigger catch does mean more work but it is meaningful and energizing work and Jesus will help us figure that out as well
– evangelism does not threaten community it heightens the need for it and gives unites people around a common task. In this story the boats had to cooperate to accomadate the large catch.

+++ Lord, teach me again how to fish for people… teach me how to draw them into your safe, eternal kindom where they will be loved and cared for and experience joy and peace. Give me the grace and confidence to try again and please take the fear of failing and the fear of succeeding away. Amen. +++

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