the 5th sunday after epiphany
the PRAYER. . .
Most holy God, the earth is filled with your glory, and before you angels and saints stand in awe. Enlarge our vision to see your power at work in the world, and by your grace make us heralds of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
the READING. . .
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.”
the DEVOTION. . .
Revivals have been a part of the religious DNA of America, since before we were a country. Altar calls. Receiving Jesus. Being saved. And because of that, it’s hard to read a passage like this without hearing “Just as I Am” playing softly and tenderly in the background. But this time through, I realized it’s not about fish! Or people! Or, even, the catching!
You see, this is what it looks like to bring good news to the poor! Proclaiming release and recovery and favor. This time, Jesus happens to be surrounded by a crowd. Last week, though, when he was Nazareth, in the synagogue, things didn’t go so well. “All were filled with rage and drove him out of the town, so they might hurl him off the cliff.” Jesus wanted us to know that fishing isn’t about catching or not catching. It’s, simply, about letting down the nets. Over and over. Again and again. Time after time after time. Like last night, when the disciples worked all night, but caught nothing. And then, this morning, when they went out – one more time – and caught enough to sink the boat! Enough to sink two boats!
No. This passage isn’t about fish, or people, or catching. It’s, simply, about fishing! Patiently and persistently, letting down the nets! Patiently and persistently, letting the nets down that one, more, time.
Bob Barndt, pastor