Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Go to the Sea

As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were greatly distressed.

When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax went up to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the tax?” He said, “Yes.” And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tax? From their sons or from others?” And when he said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.” Matthew 17:22-27

The snow came down yesterday, off and on all day. We accumulated several inches and the whole harbor basin twinkled in the dark. We are still new to this environment, and winter coming so early throws us off for a bit. But the sheer beauty overwhelms our dislocation and we learn something new about ourselves and God here. It takes a level of focus not to offend, and to learn the customs and the ways of people where ever one is. And there are always small miracles every day that provide insight and strength for our journey.

Jesus has just told them of the coming of his destruction. Their distress is very real and they continue on their journey, puzzling the whole meaning. They found themselves in new situations, with new challenges they had never witnessed on the fishing boats or the tax tables. These are lives interrupted, always out of their comfort zone and always challenges with new learning and new customs. When challenged about paying taxes, they find a small miracle even in this. Jesus sends Peter, the professional fisherman to the sea to fish. He sends him to a familiar place in order that they may not offend. Something familiar and customary is changed before their eyes. Sometimes we don't know why we are challenged and distressed, but God still had miracles for us, often in the smallest places and the familiar situations.

Today I ask God to help me trust that their will be answers for all the questions ahead. May we let go of the details and trust that God will find us a way through the confusion and dilemmas. May we seek the beauty and blessings of the places we find ourselves, and live this day with finding miracles in the simple and familiar.

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