Saturday, July 11, 2015

Fishers of People

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.
They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God." But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!" And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, "What is this? A new teaching—with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him." At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee .Mark 1:14-28 
 I arrived late last night in Helena, where people come this time of year to try their hand at fly fishing and other outdoor sports. I sat next to a Blackfoot woman last night who told me about her childhood in Montana on the rez, and how they would play games on the tourists - filling their tents with chair and cans, turning tents around, and making strange animals sounds while the people walked the trail and were terrified. Sometimes they would even run towards the people shouting they had just seen a bear. When we try to do something outside of our natural habitat, and pretend we are locals or experts, we can get ourselves into great trouble.
Jesus is not a professional fisherman, but was able to invite several pros to follow him. They dropped their nets, leaving their father with the hired men. Four men, all professionals, Simon and Andrew, James and John, all left their nets and everything they had ever known to follow Jesus. We really don't know what persuaded them. It couldn't have been simply boredom or the need to see the world. The road the would walk would be more challenging than anything they had faced before, yet they joyfully followed the carpenter's son. God invites us to follow with the same joy and expectation, despite what the road ahead may be like.
Today I ask God to help me follow Jesus and fish for people. May our lives be those of seekers, those who look out for the lost along every journey, trusting that God desires all people to be welcomed into the divine, loving arms.

1 comment:

Muthah+ said...

The real question I have had throughout my priesthood is just what fly to tie to catch people....? A Royal Wulff doesn't do it. A Clouser minnow, perhaps. Not a dragon or a damsel fly. All too often we have offered a 'make-believe' bait instead of the real thing. Truth is the only bait we can cast.