The subject of this morning’s worship is call. The ministry of Jesus grew into what we know today as “church” because Jesus called his disciples. One by one he walked into their busy, mundane lives and disrupted them, saying “follow me.”
In today’s lesson from Luke’s Gospel, there are some fishermen sitting by the lakeshore, washing their nets after a long, fruitless night of fishing. Jesus happens by, pressed to the edge of the lakeshore by a huge throng of people who want to hear his teaching. Jesus asks to use Peter’s boat so that he can sit a little ways offshore and teach the crowds. After the teaching, Jesus tells the tired fisherman to drop the nets one more time in the deep water. A catch of miraculous proportion is made—one that requires a second boat to haul it in. The fishermen are stunned and startled, even a little frightened. Jesus reassures them, calls them to undertake a new work with him, and they leave their boats and their nets and follow. They’ve left their occupations for a new vocation in Christ.
It still happens today: everyday Jesus finds people living ordinary lives of endless toil and drudgery, and shows them a new clarity and purpose. The initial sense of awe is often accompanied by a fearful “get away from me, Lord!” But Jesus loves them, and by his love they discover a truer version of themselves and follow him in joy.