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
My life has been draped with nets. Fishing nets are part of my life's visible background, the floats woven into the nets, some brilliant plastic colors and others, ancient ropes repaired over and over again. To leave the nets means to set all of the basic fabric, the rhythm of the tides and the definition of life aside. My life has been defined by the ocean, and by the music of life by the sea. It hits hard to hear Jesus ask these men to leave aside all that is known.
Jesus comes to these simple fishermen and changes their lives forever. They left their father, their home and the crew they have known all their lives to follow a stranger beckoning them on. For the love of the world they went. For the love of God and the redemption of their people they went. Somewhere deep in themselves they understood the importance of this invitation and took the chance. Life afterwards was not easy. But they somehow also knew that their sacrifice of comfort and familiarity would transform the world.
Today I ask God to help us all respond yes to the invitation despite the losses we might suffer. May we trust that God will give us new fabric and new communities of faith and love as we step out and follow. And may we remember that we can follow and will never be left alone.
Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.