Have you ever been asked, “What are you giving up for Lent?”? This year I am advocating that we ‘take up’ a Lenten practise. In fact I am encouraging one particular and seemingly long forgotten practise, that goes back to the very formation of our Faith Movement.
Jesus initial call to discipleship was a call follow after Him and be made “fishers of men”. Now we might have preferred that Jesus called us to be better humans or holy people, but his primitive call is to ‘fish’! Please do not hear what I am not saying, Jesus is keenly interested in making us better and holier people but the first call is to ‘fish’. Our Christ-like character is developed somewhere between those two markers, birth and death. Finally, we are raised incorruptible and that work will be completed as we are made like Him. Our battle against: sin, the flesh and the devil, will be swallowed up in Christ’s final victory. So this sanctifying work of God in our lives is bounded by the limits of our time on this earth.
Fishing on the other hand allows us to partner in an activity affecting eternity.
When the disciples respond to this call to follow and be made fishers they have little idea of what that means, and they surrender to Jesus Lordship and vocation for their lives. It becomes clear from this initial encounter that following will necessarily involve fishing.
I do not intend to ‘lay a guilt trip’ on anyone or prescribe how you ought to fish, but I do want to encourage you in the knowledge that God is taking all you’re your experiences good and bad to ‘make you a fisher’. You have opportunity in your circle to live a life of following before your friends and neighbours that a religious professional never will. God has prepared a particular pool for you. He has given you a particular story, of failure and success, of suffering and joy, glorious and messy! All the elements are in place!
Cast your mind back. Think about the individual who influenced your journey to God or your return to God. That person had a particular place in your life and when the time and circumstances were right they were used to ‘fish’ you. We were all once fish but following means fishing! God has a plan for us to be useful for eternity through the ancient spiritual practice of being ‘made a fisher.’
I joked recently that the things we do in Lent are actually things we ought to do all the time. Here is a Lenten practice I encourage us to add to our repertoire. Let us follow in such a way that Christ makes us fishers with eternal purpose and impact.
Tomorrow we are hosting our St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast. Three of the guys of Threshold House will be sharing their stories. They will be fishing!
Some of the guys have expressed a passion for smoking meat and making jerky. We have the idea of purchasing some equipment for this and selling it at a variety of venues. This will allow the guys to make some money and raise some funds for Threshold House at the same time.
We will be interviewing a new applicant to Threshold House this week and we are praying for discernment about this.
Two of our guys have had several interviews for prospective jobs and we are praying that they will find meaningful employment in a spot where they can ‘fish’.
We had to purchase a new washer and dryer. This was not an expected expense but a very necessary one. Please pray for our finances. We trust God will supply!