Blog Space of Rev. Adrian J. Pratt B.D, pastor at Mount Hebron Presbyterian Church, Ellicott City, MD

Monday, February 4, 2019

Fishy Business

Some people are expert fisherman. They have to be. It's their job. People are depending on them. For others it's a leisure pastime. Yet many pursue their particular brand of fishing, be it deep-sea adventures or fly-fishing on a gently rolling stream, with great passion and commitment.

Jesus calls us to be disciples with a high level of commitment. Last week here at Mount Hebron Presbyterian church we were considering “Misplaced Pride.” Our sermon from the day can be found here.

Our reading this week is from Luke 5:1-11. In this passage Jesus displays His fishing skills. Having demonstrated His knowledge of the craft, He then invites the fishermen in the boat to join Him in a mission that involves catching, not fish, but people, with the “Good News” of the Kingdom of God. 

In common with disciples of all times and all places following Jesus involves leaving something behind. In the first fisherman's case it was their work and home. For ourselves it can be our habits and ways of thinking that need changing. What kind of things might Jesus be calling us to leave behind at this point in our spiritual journey?

Discipleship also involves taking on something new. The first disciples had to become "Fishers of men." Allowing our lives to be embraced by God’s love adds a new dimension to our daily life. Are there any “New things” that God is calling us to embrace this year?

For the first disciples following Jesus meant they had to go somewhere else. They had to move beyond the comfort zone of their familiar surroundings. Where might God be inviting us to reach beyond our comfort zones?

To succeed at any venture takes not only inspiration, but also determination. Catching fish, be it on a trawler out at sea or by a gently meandering stream, requires learning the craft, a whole lot of patience and a willingness to adapt to constantly changing circumstances. It is no different with the journey of discipleship.

Jesus calls us to follow Him. We have a lot to learn. Disciple means “Learner.” We need to be patient. Not only with others, but even more with ourselves. We need to be aware of the shifting currents in the world. What worked in yesterday’s world might not be what God is calling us to embrace for tomorrow’s world.

Some things remain the same. Prayer is needed. God's Word needs to be applied to our situation. And we need God's Holy Spirit to strengthen us for the task. So let's go fish!

Here's something a little more up tempo then I usually post... Newsboys sing “Fishers Of Men.

Prayer: “Lord help me to respond to Your love with determination and allow Your love to change me. And when I fail, pick me up again and remind me that Your love is stronger than my weakness. Amen.

The Reverend Adrian J. Pratt B.D.

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