Saturday, April 16, 2016

Leaving Nets

As Jesus walked 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 fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought to him all the sick, those who were afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he cured them. And great crowds followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and from beyond the Jordan. Matthew 4:18-25 

It is hard to be in strange places and to have regular routines interrupted. Learning a new job or a new living situation always brings some stress. We often gravitate towards familiar and old patterns to bring us a sense of comfort, to soothe ourselves when we are feeling lost and afraid. I have been on the road for a near solid three weeks, flown seemingly dozens of flights and I'm aching for my more regular spaces and routines.

Jesus meets the disciples on by the water and calls them to follow him. They are fishermen, who are sons fishermen, and from a people who have been fishing for countless generations. They are bound by culture and place, grounded in a life, a people, a continuity of life that is both profoundly comforting and occasionally suffocating.  We have no idea what caused them to drop their nets and abandon all people and things familiar - we do know that their lives changed forever. God stirred them into new action, roused them from their comfort zones and called them out to unknown shores. I am reminded that when I am feeling dislocated and lost, then I might just be responding the stirrings of God, the push to carry love to unknown shores.

Today I ask God to help me live with peace in times of radical dislocation. May we rejoice when we find ourselves in new and startling circumstances, knowing we are following the incarnate one, and living as the disciples did.

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