It’s Time, Let’s Go Fishing!
It s time…. Come Fishing with Me!
† IHS †
May You Be So Changed by the Transforming Gifts of Repentance and Faith that You Don’t Think about Fishing With God, Rather, You Just Do it
Plans? Nah, let’s just go…
There are two types of fishing trips in life.
There is the professional or expert fisherman.
They have everything planned out, they have a place for everything and everything in its place in their tackle boxes. They have every piece of equipment known to man and Bass Pro Shops. They have checklists and itineraries, water temperature equipment, fish finders and sonar, first aid kits and emergency beacons, and coolers stocked with food and a Lutheran beverage or two.
In comparison, there was my grandfather, who basically would call up the night before, or show up about 5:30 in the morning, honking his horn a few times rather than knocking on the door, and inviting us to go fishing.
My brother and I, who had trouble waking up for school, would be out of bed, dressed, rods and reels in hand, down the stairs, and out the door, before my mom could wake up and say, no, no, it’s a school day.
We’d be out on the Lake, or in Hampton Harbor, or just outside the Jetty – with the sun barely clearing the horizon. Fishing… enjoying life… catching a couple dozen flounder, or if it was a bad day… some crabs and eels.
No planning, no fancy equipment, no life jackets, just our rods and reels, a Chinese food carton full of sandworms, a couple of sodas and his cup of coffee.
For a kid, real fishing wasn’t the first kind of fishing.
Real fishing for a 8 year old, was going out in Grampy’s little aluminum boat.
As the disciples abandon their dads, as they leave everything behind, to go fishing for men with Jesus, I picture it like that.
Not a moment’s thought, we knew what we are being called to, and to be honest, we didn’t think about the fishing. It was what happened, when Grampy picked us up. What it was about was being with him. The same occurs, when we are awakened by God, and we spend each day fishing for men with Him….
Even as there seemed to be nothing much to Grampy taking us fishing, there was…and those things are there as Jesus takes Peter and Andrew, James and John fishing as well.
While we never knew what would cause Grampy to decide to take us fishing on this day or that, it was His decision. He would have to change His routine, hook up the boat, and drive north from his place.
His horn blast before dawn was like Christ’s call to repentance. It’s time! Let’s go!
With that, everything would change for that day. Our attitude about staying in our warm beds, about not wanting to leave our place, would dramatically change. It’s like we weren’t even the same kids. Our minds focused on something else, our attitudes were that of being alive, and excited about getting up and out! It wasn’t a conscience change, it was one brought about by the horn. We heard it, we reacted, we went.
Repentance often is pictured as being sorry, or contrite. Or it is explained as choosing to change how we think and act. To make a u-turn, especially in how we behave.
It’s not those things. It is far more internal, in the subconscious. It is hearing the voice of the Lord, and the change that hearing His call awakens in us.
That’s why Luke describes repentance in the book of the Acts of the Apostles as something from God.
30 it was the God of our ancestors who raised up Jesus, whom you executed by hanging on a tree. 31 By his own right hand God has now raised him up to be leader and Saviour, to give repentance and forgiveness of sins through him to Israel. Acts 5:30-31 (NJB)
18 When they heard this, they stopped their criticism and praised God, saying, “Then God has given to the Gentiles also the opportunity to repent and live!” Acts 11:18 (TEV)
Do you year the horn going off? That Jesus has come to take you with Him through life? That things will never be the same?
Maybe its time to wake up, and join Him on this journey through life?
My grandfather drove a 1970 Ford Maverick. Besides no back leg room, not even enough for a 8 year old, it had a unique horn sound. Sort of like a sick frog going through puberty.
Unique enough that it would wake up my 11 year old brother and myself. It would mean something special – because we knew it was Grampy’s.
It wasn’t just believing Grampy was out there. It meant so much more. A day fishing with Him, We knew it would be special, because we knew Him.
Having faith in God is like that. It’s not about believing some cosmological argument for the existence of God, or some theological treatise that attempts to explain how Jesus’s divinity mixed with His humanity.
You just know Him, you trust in Him, and if there is one thing my job boils down to, it is introducing you to the God who loves you enough, to die for every act of self-centeredness you ever committed, for every bit of idolatry, every angry attack on your neighbor, every intimate word, thought or action not directed toward your spouse, every bit of envy, every act of gossip.
He took care of them all, as He said, “it is finished,” and bruised and broken Jesus stopped breathing… and died.
And the promise of everything being made brand new and right and perfect with Him became clear, as He rose from the dead.
That’s what Jesus proclaimed, as He announced the kingdom of God was near…. As near to Peter and James, Andrew and John, as it is to you, this very moment.
The gospel for you to hear.
He is here, calling for you. It doesn’t matter if you’ve known him all your life, or this is the first time getting to know His call to you, come walk with me, come join me…..
Let’s go fishing. Not for flounder or Pollock, but for men and women, those that God the Father sent me to call, to catch, that everything would change for them.
Time to go fishing, as we live together, as we journey together through life.
It’s one thing for two young kids to go fishing with their grandfather. Yet the eagerness, and the carefreeness of the disciples, is not so different. They leave everything behind, as will a tax collector, a rebel, a Pharisee and so many others that went with jesus, and lived life fishing for men.
When my brother Stephen and I went with Grampy, it didn’t matter if we caught a ton of fish, or we didn’t. The experience was about being with someone we loved. The journey? The sitting in a cold boat? We enjoyed it all, just because we were there. Everyone knew that we went fishing the next day (even our teachers!)
Fishing for men is like this…. Except it is even better.
Because as our attention is spent on Him, that resulting relationship is what draws others to Him, it is how they are caught.
No worms needed, no bait, no trickery or skill.
it is the effect of knowing we dwell in the presence of God.
For He has called us, transformed us, given us a relationship where we know His incredible love……
So it’s time, let’s walk with Jesus through life, having repented and trusting Him, and fish for men. AMEN?