When I first read the lectionary text for this week, I laughed a bit. Of course the story of Jesus calling Peter and Andrew to follow him and be “fishers of men” is a familiar part of my childhood faith tradition. When you attach a biblical story to a silly song with cheesy hand motions, it just seems to stick in your brain a little better. Don’t believe me? Check out this link and thank me later.
Most sermons I’ve heard on this text have to do with evangelism, or catching souls for Jesus. It’s not a very personal image of evangelism, but what I do like about this story is that it is a very personal story of calling. Jesus came to Simon Peter and Andrew in their environment, and he spoke in their terms. He issued the brothers a simple invitation to follow him, and to leave their fishing business behind and join Jesus in his business- the business of people. It must have seemed an adventurous job offer because at the end of the day, these three guys left their entire livelihoods behind to join him.
For a long time, I struggled with the idea of calling. The clouds don’t part to reveal glorious sunbeams and a heavenly voice that explains our life’s purpose. Jesus doesn’t typically sidle up to us at work and give us such clear instructions, but some how there is a deep seeded desire in us to have a life’s work that means something and to figure out what the heck that is. Maybe it’s as simple as being in the business of people in our own unique setting in our own unique ways. If calling is personal, maybe Jesus doesn’t ask us all to be fishers of people. In your context, maybe Jesus asks you to be a networker of people, or a communicator of love, or an activist for justice, etc.
What does calling mean for you? How are you joining Jesus in the business of people in your unique context? Do we have a calling as a community? If so, how do we encourage one another to live into it? I’m excited to explore these things and more with you on Sunday.
Love and peace,