>One of my earliest memories of evangelism was my brother’s Vacation Bible School pageant. I don’t remember how old we were, but I remember my brother wearing a paper sailor’s cap like those we made out of newspaper and holding a fishing rod while singing, “I will make you fishers of men, fishers of men, fishers of men, I will make you fishers of men if you follow me . . .”
What did that mean? I will make you fishers of men?
In the version of the Christian Scripture used today, the clever invitation from Jesus is now “come, I will make you fish for people.” It doesn’t have the same humor to my mind, but it’s message is the same. Jesus has arrived at Capernaum and is watching the local fishermen pull in their nets, trim the sails, whatever fishermen did, and he invites them to drop their nets and come with him to start a ministry of proclaiming the kingdom of Heaven and pull in those people who hear the message and are drawn to it, building a new community with the Good News.
Peter, Andrew, James and John, dropped everything, gave up their familiar, work-a-day lives to become disciples of this young rabbi from Nazareth called Jesus bar Joseph when he stopped by the lake and called to them.
I don’t know if I would have had the strength to do something so brave or monumental. In all honesty, I would have said, “Yeah, but first let me finish typing this.” or made any number of excuses to delay the departure.
I also don’t know if Jesus would have waited in the front room for me to finish whatever it was I thought was so important that it couldn’t wait until I returned.
What I do know is that Jesus offers the invitation to me, just as he offers the same to you every day. I think sometimes we’re just too wrapped up in life to hear His voice. But think of the new possibilities and challenges, new lives through Christ, when we drop the nets and come along.
And what is this new life? It is life made complete by the love God gives us through Christ.
That love is offered freely and is sustaining; we are guided and supported by love – from the Trinity and from one another.
Come follow me, Jesus invites. Drop the phone, drop the remote control, shut down the laptop, put down the Sudoku puzzle. That’s what Jesus is saying to us now. Put aside the concerns and stresses of life and come to me and I will show you there’s a better way to live.
Now excuse me while I’ll log off . . . .
Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord!