Sunday, January 25, 2009
"At once they left their nets and followed him." Mark 1:18
This week has been marked by transitions. The inauguration of a new president being a very public transition and my move to Cambridge being a very personal one. All times of transitions are challenging as well as exhilarating, full of promise and fringed with dread. New people and new experiences herald new possibilities and new ways to be confused. Driving and navigating become a challenge where it was once familiar and predictable. Transitions demand that we live one the edge, between one world and the other, and that we leave some things behind for a period of time. I'm not particularly good at transitions but I am comforted to know that not many people are either. Leaving familiar, even for wonderful opportunity, is still leaving and we have to re-acclamate and recalculate our daily lives. The only way to be good at transitions is to be gentle with one's self and others. New growth is always a challenge and growth spurts can hurt, so tenderness and patience are the best medicine.
Jesus starts his ministry by calling Peter and Andrew away from their lives. The Sundays of Epiphany are often times when we rehearse the call narratives, the stories of the greatest transitions in the lives of the disciples and Jesus. He steps out and they follow, and it requires leaving nets and families and the familiar for the challengingly unfamiliar. They go with Jesus with great speed and enthusiasm, but they too have to live with the in between awkwardness of a major transition. It doesn't come easy for them, even though they are the people closest to the Son of God, the Savior of the world.
Today, I want to follow Jesus in a whole new way, by understanding this transition time as an invitation to tenderness and kindness. To myself and all those around me. When we change locations, even temporarily as this is, it still challenges our capacities. And these times can also grow our faith and trust in Christ. So today, I want to walk as a "child of the light, I want to follow Jesus." Just like a child, I will cling and take direction from the one who will love me through this and through time. May we all have the courage this day, with our transitions big and small, to cling to Jesus to see us through. And may we know that Christ is growing in us new capacities, new possibilities, new nets, so that we too might be fishers of people.