February 8, 2004

Luke 5:1-11

[1] Once when [Jesus] was standing on the shore of Lake Gennesaret, the crowd was pushing in on him to better hear the Word of God. [2] He noticed two boats tied up. The fishermen had just left them and were out scrubbing their nets. [3] He climbed into the boat that was Simon's and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Sitting there, using the boat for a pulpit, he taught the crowd.

[4] When he finished teaching, he said to Simon, "Push out into deep water and let your nets out for a catch."

[5] Simon said, "Master, we've been fishing hard all night and haven't caught even a minnow. But if you say so, I'll let out the nets." [6] It was no sooner said than done -- a huge haul of fish, straining the nets past capacity. [7] They waved to their partners in the other boat to come help them. They filled both boats, nearly swamping them with the catch.

[8] Simon Peter, when he saw it, fell to his knees before Jesus. "Master, leave. I'm a sinner and can't handle this holiness. Leave me to myself." [9] When they pulled in that catch of fish, awe overwhelmed Simon and everyone with him. [10] It was the same with James and John, Zebedee's sons, coworkers with Simon.

Jesus said to Simon, "There is nothing to fear. From now on you'll be fishing for men and women." [11] They pulled their boats up on the beach, left them, nets and all, and followed him.

[The Message]


1. Ah, every preacher's fantasy -- to have people clamoring for a Word of GOD from me! What a great time that would be. The nave would never be of sufficient size to hold back the desire of the nations. And, oh, would we preach. We'd do it so well that even the festering places in ourselves would hear and receive healing.

What do you suspect might have to change for even two or three to desire to hear your experience of GOD? Presuming that others could recognize it, what would give them a clue that there might be something valuable for them in your experience? In these questions we return to the significant issue of community. Are you also willing to catch the hints given by others that their experience of GOD would be valuable for you?

2. Simon was a fishing pro. He would have won any number of contests on the fishing channel. When it came to fishing, you couldn't put one past him. There were only minnows available, even to a pro. When this proved to be too limited a perspective, Simon jumped ship from his usual reality to that of an abundance. When there is more than enough, we can put our usual life down and move into an unknown that is now known to be better.

3. Imagine your own expertise, in whatever arena that is. You did know you had an area of expertise, didn't you? What limitation have you run into lately that, if it were to be proved to be illusory, you would be awe-filled enough to shift the use of your expertise in a more humane direction? Of course, if that were to happen and you just couldn't bear to change, that would be an awful circumstance for you -- caught between dissonant reality claims. And so the choice comes to us again and again -- awe-full or awful living.

How awful that awful contracts the abundance of awe-full. May you live the fuller, not the lesser life.