I subscribe to a daily devotional. Every morning, in the middle of free offers from Amazon or Restaurant.com that I can seem to successfully unsubscribe to, there’s a fresh delivery of scripture, commentary and prayer. Some days it’s great, some days reading through the scripture passage is the one redeeming quality of the message. I’m sure I sound like a broken record, but this journey of churchplanting has come squarely in the center of a rough season. There have been good, kind, experienced folks who have encouraged me to consider taking a little time before really jumping in to planting a church. There has been pushback about our theology. We have already had folks come, check us out, and decide to do something else. All of these have been good things, stretching things, and I have felt personally supported through the process. But there have also been days when I have questioned my own sanity, my own calling, and my own giftings. We all do, from time to time. This morning, in the midst of praying through my own questions, I opened up the devotional message, not expecting much. What I found felt like water for my weary soul. May it bless you as well.
He’d been fishing unsuccessfully all night and worked much of the morning, cleaning his nets. He’d let Jesus use his boat as a pulpit. After all that, you’d think he’d just want to go home and go to bed.
But when the preaching was over, Jesus said, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Amazingly, Simon did it.
Being a disciple is not easy, nor always convenient. As Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof says, “I know. I know. We are your chosen people. But, once in awhile, can’t you choose someone else?”
God calls us in the middle of our exhaustions and other plans, in spite of our shortcomings, even after our failures. God calls us to risk going deep, even over our heads.
But Jesus knows what we’re getting into. After all, this is God’s mission we’re on, not our own. Jesus assures Simon and us, “Do not be afraid.”
Jesus Christ, help us to follow you with courage, knowing that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us. Amen.
Mary Sue Dreier
Associate Professor of Congregational Mission and Leadership, Luther Seminary
Master of Divinity, 1979