Morrisons Cove Herald - Putting cows on the front page since 1885.

By Kelly Baker

Not Your Typical Church Lady

Did You Catch Anything?


October 17, 2019

*A Word Of Warning: The following article was written with my evening brain, and my afternoon brain, which are vastly different than my morning brain. My morning brain has sharp concise, uninterrupted thoughts and ideas and is able to easily take what is in my head and put it on paper. My afternoon brain is at a disadvantage because our daughter is home then and can't let me develop a thought or sentence without interruption. My evening brain, sadly, does not resemble a brain at all. It is like a smashed tater tot that someone started to chew and then spit out, and then got stepped on. Luckily, my morning brain went ahead and tried to get a head start so that afternoon and evening brain wouldn't have such a struggle. I don't know if it worked or not. I will apologize up front for whatever follows.*

Last week I was reading the Bible when a passage I had read many times called out to me. There was nothing particularly stunning about this passage, and yet it demanded that I examine it closely: "He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, 'Put out into the deep water and let down the nets for a catch.' Simon answered, 'Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.' When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full they began to sink" (Luke 5:3-7, NIV).

What was it about this that called to my heart? I read it again. And again. There it was. "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets." This feels familiar. Is it because I too often feel like I've worked hard but haven't caught anything? Maybe that was it. But there seemed to be something more. I turned to the book of John.

"Early that morning Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize it was Jesus. He called out to them, "Friends, haven't you any fish?" "No," they answered. He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some." When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish" (John 21:4-6).

The first passage was in reference to Jesus first calling his disciples. He came upon Simon (Peter) James and John and called out the suggestion to put their nets in the deep. They had already been at it all night and hadn't caught anything. But they listened. They cast their nets into the deep and the result was an overwhelming catch.

The second passage finds our same friends and a few others out fishing again. At this time, Jesus has been crucified, resurrected, and has revealed himself to his disciples on previous occasions. ** This is where Morning Brain left off. We may never know what fantastic thought awaited us. I, Evening Brain, will attempt to sally forth.

So let us compare. At the beginning, Jesus met the fishermen, told them to try again, they did and it all worked out. After his crucifixion they were out fishing again, once more without results until someone (Jesus) called to them and told them to try again, but on the right side of the boat. They did and caught a ridiculous number of fish. It was the same scenario, only different. What was different? (Evening Brain really wants to go there, but I'm not going to lie, it's a struggle.) They cast into the deep the first time, the second time they just threw their net on the right side of the boat. The first time they had never met Jesus before, and yet they were compelled to listen to him. The second time, they had spent years walking closely with Jesus, but it was after his death and resurrection and they didn't recognize him right away when he called out to them. Still they listened.

Both times they had spent the whole night fishing and catching nothing. What changed? Jesus spoke and they listened. Why did Jesus choose them? What was it about them that made them worthy to be handpicked by the Messiah? I feel like Morning Brain would be doing a much better job of researching this. *This is where Evening Brain gave up and went to bed, leaving you stuck with me, Afternoon Brain.

("Momma, I just did this." And the daughter proceeds to show me a trick she did with her fingers adding that "That is my ring finger, not my middle finger." ) I feel that there is significance in the fact that Jesus bookended his relationship with his disciples in this manner, with them fishing and not catching anything until he gave the word. ("Momma, what is our phone number?" Rrrrrr.)

Maybe the purpose of this whole thing, unbeknownst to me until this very moment, is to show the others, in a strange sort of way, why it is important to pay preachers. We think that the Gospel should be free to everyone, so shouldn't preachers preach for free? Take a look at this article (as daughter finishes banging on piano in the next room and walks into room where I am, making velociraptor sounds). It's a wreck and I'm not a preacher. I'm a lowly writer who can't get five minutes to herself. How much more important is it to ensure our pastors have the set apart time they need so they can work properly through the creative process to bring you a good sermon? Think about that.


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