While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them. And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan. Matthew 4:18-25
I am flying home to Sitka on an early flight out of Boston. The past few days have been wonderful, reconnecting with my seminary classmates and old friends. It was wonderful to be with my daughter Phoebe and her husband Andrew. I had the privilege of preaching in the seminary chapel at an Evensong dedicated to the memory of Otis Charles. Leaving is always hard to do, as I wish there was more time to be with my other daughters and my granddaughter. God always seems to call us to move on and we struggle to let go.
The calling of the disciples is a remarkable story, These men leave their boats and nets. They leave behind the familiar, the comfortable and their source of income. To follow God, they turn away from their homes and families. We know they returned to them, but how hard it must have been for them once they were on the road away. Despite all their joy in following Jesus, there must have been moments of feeling pulled back home, being pulled in several directions. God knows our ache. And for those who follow Christ, we are promised the blessings of return and a family in the people and places we are called to serve.
Today may God give me strength for the journey and joy along the road. May we all trust that our journeys are but a way to deepen love and to know God more fully. May we move with the confidence of disciples, who left their nets to bring love to a broken world.