Forest Lake Talks

2/14/22 Devotional from Ed

February 14, 2022

Devotional from Ed Black

Text: Luke 5:1-11

Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.

Devotional: When I first began working at Forest Lake, I remember Bill Wannamaker leading a Time with Young Disciples lesson on the passage above. Bill brought a fishing rod and lifted up Jesus' words to Simon: "From now on you will be catching people." I appreciated Bill's use of a visual, but I knew it worked when Hal and Will talked about it after church! Thanks, Bill.

I've read the fifth chapter from Luke many times, but as it often does, the Spirit finds new ways to send new messages to you each time you hear or read a passage. Why, I ask myself, have I consistently ignored Jesus' instruction to fish in "deep water?" And, I probably would have missed it the next time I read it had it not been for a recent sermon given from Rev. Scott Black Johnston in NYC. Listen if you can.

The shallow water provides us a lot of comfort. We can reach people who may think like us or act like us, but we should ask ourselves a question: Is simply casting our nets in the shallow end being fishermen/women of all men? Who is out there sinking or swimming in the deep end?

What would happen if we cast our nets in deeper waters? My bet is we'd be closer to the fishermen/women Jesus wants us to be.

Prayer: Holy God, as we begin a new week, empower us to cast our nets into deeper waters, looking for your children who need a bridge to the shore of good news. May we be that bridge. Amen.

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