Friday, July 25, 2014

Along the Sea

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news."
As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea - for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, "Follow me and I will make you fish for people." And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him. Mark 1:14-20 

I have grown up and spent much of my life by the ocean. We had neighbors who were commercial fisherman, their whole livelihood depending on the sea. After nearly two years in Sitka, Alaska, a place which relies on the abundance of the sea and the catch of those who fish for a living, I can tell you how hard the work is and how essential the work is to the life of a whole community. Leaving family, nets and boats is an impossible request. Boats are passed on in families, and many can tell you the lineage of a boat before they can tell you their own heritage.

Jesus calls these fisherman and asks them to do the impossible. They remarkable thing is that they did it. They immediately left their boats and followed him. We cannot imagine what truly transpired on that day, but we can imagine what kind of force, what kind of presence might draw us from all we know and love. They must have been moved by a love bigger than anything they had known, a love which propelled them to change their lives completely. And today, God invites us to be ready to change our lives completely. A love so big calls us to get up and go, following the one who is love incarnate.

Today, I ask God to help me be ready to follow Christ and go where I am called. May we remember the example of those fishermen, willing to leave everything to follow. May we rise up when we are called and go where we are sent, today.

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