December 8, Day Three of Week Two – The Way of Peace though Love

Mark 1: 16 – 18   “As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.  “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”  At once they left their nets and followed him.”

Fishing

Just Fishin’  Song link

I’m lost in her there holdin’ that pink rod and reel
She’s doin’ almost everything but sittin’ still
Talkin’ ’bout her ballet shoes and training wheels
And her kittens
And she thinks we’re just fishin’
I say, “Daddy loves you, baby” one more time
She says, “I know. I think I got a bite.”
And all this laughin’, cryin, smilin’ dyin’ here inside’s
What I call, livin’

REFRAIN:  And she thinks we’re just fishin’ on the riverside
Throwin’ back what we could fry
Drownin’ worms and killin’ time
Nothin’ too ambitious
She ain’t even thinkin’ ’bout
What’s really goin’ on right now
But I guarantee this memory’s a big’in
And she thinks we’re just fishin’

She’s already pretty, like her mama is
Gonna drive the boys all crazy
Give her daddy fits
And I better do this every chance I get
‘Cause time is tickin’  REFRAIN

Reflection:  Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes and multiples more of people who love to fish.  For some, like Simon and Andrew, fishing is a commercial endeavor, a means of earning money.  For most, fishing is a sport, a past time, a time to relax and connect to nature, a family tradition.  I spent my teen years on the Chesapeake Bay.  My parents loved to fish.  We took our cabin cruiser out every weekend between March and November.   For me it was a teen prison, given that I don’t swim or fish.  But even in that forced isolation, I learned.  I wrote.  Stories, journals, songs.  I organized my words, again and again, until they said just what I really meant.  Today, I make a good portion of my living from writing.  I played my guitar, learning new ways to make it sing.  Decades later, I would pass onto my son what I knew and he turned that into a lifelong passion and career.  I had long conversations with my stepfather, forging a relationship that was unexpected.  Things he shared with me about life follow me every day and make my relationships stronger and deeper, inform my work and pull me closer to God, although we never talked about God.  I still have his battered and worn thesaurus and return to it frequently.  Fishing has never been my passion.  Through not fishing, I found my passions and passed them along.  Through not fishing, I have learned to fish for people, in my writing and teaching.  And I thought we were just fishing.

Action:  When Jesus asked Simon and Andrew to come with him, it meant they must give up their way of making a living and join a journey that would lead to persecution and possible death.  “At once they left their nets and followed him.”   No hesitation.  We are not asked to abandon our work or face death to follow Jesus.  How do we follow?  Is our following reflected in our words, our actions, our work, our giving, our hospitality?  How could our following be stronger, deeper, clearer, more honest?  Today, consider those questions.  How do you fish for people?  Choose one way you can strengthen your following.   Start doing it tomorrow.

Dear God,  Thank you for your lessons of fishing.  Open us to hearing your call to be followers.  Show us the humble path to sharing you with the world.  Come to us and transform our words, our ways, our beliefs so that when we speak, act and pray we are focused on your ways and not those of our own making.  Through our following, make us leaders of your love.  As fishers of your people, Amen.

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