As a child one of my favorite places to go for the summer was the family cabin. It was located in rural northern Wisconsin. The drive was over 7 hours long on back roads, the house did not have A/C, the dining room table was an old door with church pews for seats, no TV, and we shared rooms and space. Honestly, I loved all of it.
The lake itself was amazing. You could see the bottom of it no matter how deep you went. The water was ideal for hours of swimming. But when we stood along the shore, it was always still until a fish would jump up out of the water to eat a bug or a fishing bobber would go under with the pull of a catch. But when I would throw out a rock, the water would ripple with energy and excitement beginning from the center of contact when the water and rock first connected.
The image of the energy that occurred and multiplied in ripples from the center draws me to the image of Jesus in a boat looking out and telling Simon to cast out his nets into what appears, from the scriptures in Luke, to be a quiet day without a lot of productive fishing activity. "Cast out your nets," says Jesus in Luke 5:1-11. He was speaking to those who were exhausted after their disappointment in not harvesting a catch.
Are you exhausted? Maybe your particular story of COVID, relationships, hurt, sorrow, struggles, and simply the day after day trials…and you are exhausted. Day after day, you cast out your net of productivity of some kind and maybe it has all come up empty. Jesus says to you and me today, "cast out your nets" with the confidence that God has been, is, and will forever be with us. "Cast out your nets" and witness God’s abundance.
Jesus continued in his message to the people then and to us today, "Cast out your nets" and no longer fish for fish, but fish for people. This means we are to follow Jesus and share in the mission of the Good News, God’s message of hope, mercy, and grace is for all people here and now.
This weekend at the Annual Meeting, we gather to check in with one another and look at our 2021 year. As a community we will celebrate, discern, and look to the days ahead at Holy Trinity’s mission and vision (see information below for in-person and zoom). We will talk about our collective exhaustion, but more than anything else talk about God’s abundance and joy! Please, join us! (in-person or zoom link information below).
God is calling us all into God’s mission. Are we exhausted? Sure! Just like the disciples thousands of years ago, the work is hard and yet, maybe, because like Simon, we were depending upon our knowledge of possibilities. Jesus says and we hear the message today to "cast out your nets" for there is so much more yet to come and the nets will be filled with God’s gift of abundance!
We cry out in our challenges and in our joy to our God who has and will always provide us with hearts of mercy, arms of strength, and grace and joy in the casting of our nets all for the glory of the Good News.