‘Empty’ Does Not Mean ‘Over’: Nets

Sunday’s Scripture ~ Luke 5:1-11.

One summer afternoon when I was six I went fishing off of my Nonnie and Gramps’ dock. They lived on a canal of the Indian River on Merritt Island. I had my yellow Snoopy and Woodstock fishing pole. I was unstoppable.

Well, at least I thought I was. Others in my family may have had doubts.

They kept the doubts to themselves.

And I was successful…sorta?

I did catch a fish…but as I was reeling it in…I caught a pelican! Or rather a pelican caught my fish…that was still attached…to my yellow Snoopy and Woodstock fishing pole.

After a few traumatizing moments of me shrieking and of my father and my Gramps catching the pelican in order to retrieve my fishing pole, all was well again.

And we let the pelican keep the fish.

Sometimes fishing leads us to more than we bargained. I think this is true in life and in the life of faith. What we might have thought was a one time service or a random reading of Scripture or a casual conversation about belief turns out to be God sweeping us off our feet like that pelican swept my fish – and fishing pole – clean out of my hands in mid air. And we are caught. We are suspended. We are stunned.

Waiting.

Waiting for the Spirit that swept us up to point us in the direction we are now to go.

In this current season I have been swept up in the processes of ‘making church digital’ – of finding ways to connect with faith and feel connected to our faith family when we cannot gather in person. I will be the first to admit – this is so much harder than what we normally do. For many this emphasis on making church digital was coming down the pipe but had not yet arrived. Well, now it is flushed out of the pipe. It is here and it is not going away.

And so – as one swept by God – I am waiting for how and where God will shape this new advent in ministry – not just for this season – but for our continued movement into the future.

Think of a time where God has swept you off your feet. What were the circumstances? How did you feel? What was the outcome? And, perhaps most importantly, what did you learn? Share your answers with someone this week.

I look forward to worshipping with you on Sunday!

Prayer: “Lord, you have come to the lakeshore looking neither for wealthy nor wise ones; you only ask me to follow humbly. O Lord with your eyes you have searched me, and while smiling have spoken my name; now my boat’s left on the shoreline behind me; by your side I will seek other seas.”* Amen.

*”Lord, You Have Come to the Lakeshore,” The United Methodist Hymnal 344.

 

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