Luke 21 Sunday

Letting Down Our Nets

Today’s scripture selection: Luke 5-6

Key Verse: Luke 5:4


     When Jesus called his first disciples to follow him he had to first give them a little fishing lesson.  This was unusual because, after all, they were professional fisherman.

     Nevertheless, Jesus pressed on – urging them to “let down their nets for a catch.”  Now, to make matters worse, he did this after they had worn themselves out fishing all night to no avail.

     Kind of like our prayer life from time to time.

     We are worn out, tired of asking, tired of seeking.  The answers aren’t coming and we are just about to throw in the towel.

     And the Lord comes encouraging – perhaps even goading us a bit – “keep on; keep going; let down your net just one more time.”

     Of course, you know how the story ends.  The “professional” fishermen – who thought they knew all about it – and so were sure they wouldn’t catch anything – end up filling their small boat to overflowing.  Simon Peter’s response says it all:

     “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”

     Jesus responds by encouraging him, calling him into a fuller, joyful life – and ministry.

     Again, it’s like our prayer life.

     If we can only hold on in faith, just a little longer, we “catch” what we have been desperately seeking.  We find the answer; we see our way ahead; we are made fit for the kingdom and service.

     So – keep fishing – it can be long, hard, tiring task at times.  But if you only keep dropping that net – one day – you will be amazed at what you catch.

Prayer: Lord, sinful though I am, renew me, strengthen me, call me, into service for you.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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