Rev Geoff McKee’s scripture for the fifth Sunday after the Epiphany (10 February 2018) is Luke 5:1-11, the story of Jesus calling his first disciples. Creating “fishers of men” resonates with us in a fishing community like Lossiemouth. Geoff explains how God – and Jesus – have continually taken risks for the benefit of humanity. It’s up to us to follow that example – taking risks so that lives are changed for the better.
Luke 5:1-11 (New International Version)
Jesus Calls His First Disciples
5 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
Anyone who attended the funeral service for Andrew Campbell on 22 December 2018 could not fail to have been impressed by the tribute from Michael Harrington, the young fishing skipper from Castletownbere, Co. Cork in Ireland.
Michael and his crew were having no fortune catching fish.
There was no doubt that the fish were there but they weren’t finding their way into Michael’s nets.
He described how Andrew and friends from Lossiemouth travelled to Cork to have a look at their set-up and routine to try and find a way to break the bad fortune.
The old, wise heads made some suggestions and almost immediately the nets filled and the boxes overflowed with fish.
I couldn’t help bringing to mind the story of Jesus and his first disciples recorded in Luke 5 and the very similar story recorded in John 22.
Like Michael Harrington, the disciples were prepared to listen and everything changed as a result of that. [Read more…]