Shalom. May you know the breeze of a cool wind on a hot day and the lingering presence of a beautiful scent as God reminds you he’s around.
Happy Fathers Day!
I’ve had a couple of thoughts swirling around my head the last week or so. One is the nature of our relationship with Jesus and the other our call to be fishers of men…
Jesus beckons us to walk through life with him leading, almost like a dance. While many accept the invitation, they struggle with the reality and often find themselves trying to take the lead instead.
I think that this must look quite funny, like a pair of people trying to dance who can’t quite get the steps right because one of them doesn’t know their place. Having watched this before I can understand how awkward and stilted it can be as well as frustrating for the dancers. But when they sort it out, what glorious fun can be had in the dance and what marvellous delight in watching.
Our life is an act of worship, it is a life song that reaches out and links with others life songs to create a symphony of expressive and effervescent energy to a glorious God, a loving Lord and a serendipitous Saviour. The amazing dynamic must be that it all blends together so well in the heavenlies.
As you begin to sense the rhythm of your life song and fit in to the rhythms of grace Jesus invites you to learn, it will turn into that dance of free, creative, unique and worshipful life with Jesus as his Holy Spirit leads you through each day. Dancing is a discipline and for two dancers to perform well together, they simply must spend time dancing, learning how the other flows and turns and moves. With our life with Christ, time too can never be replaced; we simply must learn to take the time to spend with him.
Jesus regularly drew aside, went up a mountain and spent time with his Father. Why would we need anything different? Where is your mountain? How do you draw aside, even for a few minutes?
Secondly, “I will make you fishers of men”, was the invitation Jesus gave in Matthew 4; and it’s still open today.
Have you ever been fishing? I have, though I wouldn’t define myself as an avid fisherman.
Things I’ve learnt about fishing are:
– You need something to catch the fish with – a net, a rod and or line.
– You need bait or a lure.
– You need to go to where the fish are.
– You need to wait and wait.
– Understand that even if you do all of the above, you still might not catch a fish.
– Have fun whatever happens.
While some of those images don’t translate too happily to evangelism, there are some truths we can look at. In the context Jesus was speaking into, they caught fish by nets. So they weren’t simply fishing for a singular fish; so much of the type of fishing many of us might think about – with a rod and line – loses some of its application.
If you catch with nets, you don’t need bait. But you do need fish, and you need to go where they are – not a lot of point fishing in your bath tub is there? Then you need the right technique / approach and attitude, and then you need patience. You can’t force the fish to be caught; they will swim into the net.
When we share our faith, Jesus invites us into an opportunity of starting a new relationship with someone; because if they express interest, then we need to be ready and willing to share more, further and deeper. Whilst I can’t deny the times when you might tell a complete stranger who you may never meet again, most effective evangelism happens within relationships that are built over time. The fishing analogy breaks down when we consider that Jesus encourages us to befriend each other, because I am not going to befriend a fish I’ve caught, I’m going to gut it and cook it and eat it. But I don’t tend to approach people with the same perspective and I hope you don’t either.
I think people don’t want to be seen as a conquest, to be won or lost in the battle of souls. They want to be treated as a person – who matters, who has an opinion, who thinks, who feels and who is loved.
So who are you sharing with? Who are you praying for? Who would you like to spend eternity with?
It is my hope that you embrace Jesus’ invitation to be a fisher of men and women, girls and boys; and have fun whatever happens, and enjoy the dance before us as we listen to the music of worship and mission.