Monday April 1, 2019
Today’s Focus The call to discipleship
Today’s Scripture Reading Luke 5:1-11
5 One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God. 2 He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. 3 Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon,[b] its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there.
4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”
5 “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” 6 And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! 7 A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.
8 When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.” 9 For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. 10 His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed.
Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!”
Daily Reflection Pastor’s reflection
This section of Holy Scripture, in my opinion, continues to inform and enlighten the church and disciples living in the 21st century. Some very important observations can be made about this text. Take notice that nowhere does Luke suggest that these particular fishermen had done anything in their past or in their present condition to warrant or merit Jesus’ call to them. The same holds true today, there is nothing we have done, currently do, or will do in the future to warrant God’s incredible call to our lives to share in the “in breaking” of God’s reign in the world in which we live.
Next; the fishmen’s call did not happen in a church (or a synagogue), rather Jesus’ call to them occurred as they were going about their daily lives. This is not to suggest that people cannot feel God’s call for discipleship in worship, but does remind us all that God does not have geographic limits to how, when, or in what shape God’s call to discipleship will come to a person. For some this call occurred in dramatic fashion, a dream, a vision, an overwhelming feeling; but for others, God’s call comes through in the “ordinariness” of life, the “little voice” telling us to be kind and to join God in the mission field.
Jesus’ reaction to the manner in which the disciples respond is “Don’t be afraid!” Neither should we be afraid. The disciples were called to leave the world they knew behind, for most of us we are called to reorient our commitments in life to follow Jesus. Reorienting our commitments means that we see our role in the world as disciples of God as a priority, not something that simply occurs on a weekly basis, but as something that centers us in our daily living. “Don’t be afraid!” God walks with us as we keep our Lord at the center of our daily focus.
Some questions for reflection
- The world that the disciples lived in was indeed a world of “scarcity.” Most people lived day to day needing to supply food for themselves and their families. Can you imagine a situation in 2019 in which this story might have the same application? A situation in which suddenly scarcity was replaced by abundance?
- We get to bear witness to Peter’s reaction to the abundance provided by Jesus. What do you suppose your own reaction would be in a similar situation?
Today’s discipleship challenge
- Share with your group or a trusted friend when you felt/feel God continuing to “call” you, inviting you to be part of the “in breaking” of God’s reign in the world in which we live. Then share with your group or friend, how it is you attempt to live out this call. What gives you strength and nourishment for the journey? What challenges do you face?
Gracious God, as You have called disciples to varied tasks in the world in which we live, so You have called us. Grant us joy and a spirit of bold trust, that our work may stir up in ourselves and in others a life of fruitful service to bring Your message of hope, peace, and love to the very world in which we live. Amen