Another Side of Sunday: The Path

On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”  And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.”

Luke 5:1-5

The guest preacher Sunday spoke to our church, preparing us to make take the next steps in the Vibrant Church Initiative process.  Let’s take some time this week to reflect on his insights and consider our call to be fishers of men.

On one occasion… an ordinary day, a day like any other, not a holiday or a special event, no potluck luncheon or revival meeting. It was a day like the one before where Peter was fishing and cleaning his nets. Just an ordinary day, but when Jesus shows up He makes the ordinary extraordinary. What does an ordinary Sunday at church look like for you? Do you recognize Jesus in your ordinary?

Getting into one of the boats… When you step into a canoe or boat things move. Sometimes it’s hard to keep your balance in the midst of the rocking and swaying. The preacher said, “When Jesus gets into your boat, it will be rocked.” The reality is we like stability, and tend to resist change. It’s risky. We might just topple right over into deep waters. Change is inevitable. It signifies growth. Are you growing when it comes to being a part of the church? Is God calling you to do something that leaves you shaking? Are you resistant to change? Why?

Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch. Life seems easier when you’re fishing from the bank. No danger of falling into deep cold water. It’s safe and secure, but the fishing is limited. I told my fifth and sixth graders recently, “Never go fishing without your life jacket. It saves you.” Jesus calls us to put out into the deep, but we never go alone. He is our Life Jacket, our salvation.

Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing!” In other words, we’ve been fishing and caught nothing. The fish aren’t biting today. Our words and thoughts often echo Peter’s. “We’ve always done it this way. This is our way. We’ve got it mastered. Why do it different?” Is there something in the church you really like, want to do the same way every single time? Is that something working to make disciples, bringing others to Christ?

But at your word I will let down the nets. My friend and I have this saying when we’re feeling called out of our ordinary. When our boats are rolling side to side, and we’re off balance. When we hear God whisper: Go deeper, push harder, do it My way. After we’ve shared our struggle, admitted our fear and hesitancy, we often say, “There is no other way.” In other words, I may be trembling on the inside, but I’ll move forward, take the next step, attempt to do what God is calling me to do. Because His way is always better and good and right.

Consider our church as a whole, the call it has to go and make disciples. How is God calling us to deeper waters? What part is God calling you to do? Will you answer like Peter? Will you say, “Because You say so, I will?”

Jesus, we invite You to come. Get into our boat. Lead us to deep waters. It is our hearts’ desire to serve You, to live out the commission You gave to Your disciples. Forgive us when we hold onto our comfortable things, when we refuse to love our neighbor. When we allow fear to overcome our call. Teach us how to be a church that cries out, “Yes Lord, yes Lord, yes, yes Lord!”

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