January 26, 2003

Mark 1:14-20

After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee preaching the Message of God: "Time's up! God's kingdom is here. Change your life and believe the Message."

Passing along the beach of Lake Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew net-fishing. Fishing was their regular work. Jesus said to them, "Come with me. I'll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I'll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass." They didn't ask questions. They dropped their nets and followed.

A dozen yards or so down the beach, he saw the brothers James and John, Zebedee's sons. They were in the boat, mending their fishnets. Right off, he made the same offer. Immediately, they left their father Zebedee, the boat, and the hired hands, and followed.


1. After watching the Changing Places program, I almost want to to turn the first preaching around to read "Change your life and be redecorated in one design of the Message. Time's up! God's presence is completed in you."

2. Remember the story of Pinocchio? Geppetto the puppet-making whittler had a puppet transform into a boy. Remember the trials and tribulations that led to that transformation? Well, it is not any different to make the shift from fishing for trout or swordfish to fishing for people.

Being shown how this transformation can happen still takes implementation and as an art-form of life cannot be done by the numbers. To move from one's regular work to God's irregular work takes some imagination.

I expect that most of us will have questions about all this. It is alright for you to ask them just as it was alright for the brothers to not ask.

Most of us work into things by degrees. This does not make your contribution any less valuable than if you dramatically changed directions. Gentle course changes are as worthy as dramatic reversals. Honor you way and honor the way of others.

3. Jesus asked folks who were actively fishing. Jesus asked folks who were doing the menial work of cleaning up after fishing and preparing to fish again but who were not right then fishing.

Can you imagine Jesus changing his tag line for Simon and Andrew to meet the situation of James and John. "Come with me. I'll make a new kind of net-mender out of you. I'll show you how to mend men and women instead of ropes."

"Fishing" -- "Mending" -- "what" are you called to do in regard to people and the world?