This past Sunday I spoke of how Jesus brings His Mission from the synagogues to the seaside, revealing that the Messiah comes to us where we are. Joining with Jesus in “readying our outreach” means we too are called to step into people’s boats. Our physical presence in people’s daily lives brings them into contact with Jesus, and we have the opportunity to invite them to participate in His Mission. But that’s not the main point of the story in Luke 5.1-11.
“When Simon Peter saw [the catch of fish], he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord’” (Luke 5:8). In this moment, Simon Peter better understood the fullness of who Jesus is, and the condition of his own heart. His response reminds me of Jesus’ words, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 5:3). In the moment when Simon acknowledges his own poverty, the door opens to God’s fullness. Jesus came to Peter and readied his heart.
I believe we are in the middle of a similar moment in our life together as Immanuel. In this particular place, Jesus has come to ready our hearts. The overarching call is not to give more money, but to respond to God’s purposes. For Simon, that response included letting go of what seemed so important – his work, his family, his way of life, even that amazing catch of fish – and following Jesus into an unknown future.
What about for us? What is Jesus telling us to release, so that He can reorder our hearts and lead us into His future for Immanuel? What is he asking us to give, so that we can more fully participate in His purposes? “Present your bodies as a living sacrifice,” writes Paul, “holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:1-2).
Welcome to sacrifice and worship, renewal and testing, that result in discerning the will of God for Immanuel.
Welcome to Jesus readying our hearts, as he stands with us in our boat.
I’m grateful to be praying with you today, fasting with you tomorrow, feasting on chili with you on Saturday, and worshiping with you on Sunday.
Your Pastor in Christ,