Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday Devotions: Gone Fishin'

Matthew 4:19-20 "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. (NIV)

I love to go fishing on the man-made lakes of Tennessee. Sometimes, early in the morning, you’ll find me down at Concord trying to catch a big fish. I’ve seen lots of fishing programs with professional anglers, who make the whole process look easy. They just seem to cast out into the water and effortlessly hook those big fish. I am envious of them and want to emulate that. I want to catch a big bass so badly, so that I can call myself a bass fisherman.

So, I go to the fishing store and buy different lures, crankbait, artificial worms, crickets, spinners, and meps. I read books about tying fancy knots, showing me the right size of hook to put on the line. I gaze at local maps and try to work out where those bass actually are. I come totally prepared and feel as though the fish had better watch out – Stushie, Ace Fisherman is in the area – resistance is futile, bass, when I get you on my hook.

But then reality sets in. I snag the crankbait on a log and lose it. My line fankles around my reel and I have to cut it. I cast my spinners into the trees and they end up looking like Christmas decorations on the branches. The worms are the wrong color and I go home with no fish, half my lures lost, and a painful shoulder. The fish in the lake bubble their laughter at me and I leave disconsolate. Yet, when I’m driving home, all I can think about is getting down on to the water again, in order to catch the big one. I’m hooked on fishing.

I love the fact that Jesus chose fishermen to be His first disciples. They were the perfect guys to build a ministry. They never seem to give up and even in bad times, they put their boat out again and again, looking for that big catch of the season. I guess Jesus thought that if He could encourage them to think that way about God’s Kingdom, they would always go out looking for more converts and disciples, more followers for Christ and servants for God.

He chose the right people because Christ’s ministry, which began with 12 followers, has blossomed all over the earth into 2 billion souls. It’s amazing to see what has been accomplished in 2000 years. Perhaps 2000 years from now, the whole planet will be Christian.

And that’s where we all come in at the PCUSA. We continue this fishing ministry of Christ that Jesus gave to our Presbyterian predecessors 450 years ago. Throughout that time, millions of people have come to Presbyterian churches to know the Lord. We are in the catching business and that kind of work is never over until the Kingdom comes.

So, here’s the challenge. The church year is about to begin in September. Let’s all make an effort of inviting and bringing one other person to worship at our churches this Fall. In doing this, we will all be fulfilling Christ’s ministry and showing Him that we honestly care about the people we love and the community that we live in.

May God bless us as we carry on Christ’s ministry.
Stushie is the writer of the Daily Devotions blog Heaven's Highway

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