Net-Breaking Success

Life Notes—February 3, 2010 

“…When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.’  Simon answered, ‘Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing.’”   Luke 5:3b-5a 

Jesus was using Simon’s boat as a platform from which to preach to the crowd on shore.  When he finished speaking he told Simon to go back out on the water, put down the nets and fish again.  Simon complained they had already been fishing all night, with no success.  Clearly, back onto the water was the last place he wanted to go.  I suspect he just wanted to go home to bed. 

Have you ever worked hard on a project, gotten nowhere and wanted to quit, only to be told to keep working by someone who seemingly knows nothing of the weary, unproductive work you’ve already done?  The other night my heart was heavy for some dear friends, when I felt a subtle encouragement towards the piano to write a song.  Now, playing the piano is not something I am particularly good at, nor was it anything I was remotely interested in on this particular night.  Songwriting, while rewarding when complete, is usually short bouts of repetitive drudgery for me, occurring over a period of days or weeks or months.  That night I was not in a mental state for such drudgery, particularly not at the piano.  However, that is where I ended up and over the course of about ten minutes a nearly complete song was born, almost effortlessly on my part. 

In the remainder of the passage above Simon and his crew reluctantly sailed back out onto the water, put down their nets and caught so many fish it threatened to not only break the nets, but also to sink their boats.  They had to cry for assistance from shore to pull in their catch.  Jesus closes the passage by saying they will be fishing for people from now on.  When seen in the context of the massive catch, the earlier unsuccessful fishing expedition was simply the first act in a larger stage production.  However, that larger purpose was not evident until the entire event unfolded.  Hindsight can be a wonderful teacher.  Sometimes we must trust beyond our sight and feelings. 

This Sunday’s theme is “Cast Your Nets.”  Kara’s sermon will be drawn from Luke 5:1-11.  It is United Methodist Women’s (UMW) Sunday and significant parts of all worship services will be led by the women of our church.  Life service is at 10:45 in Brady Hall.  Traditional worship in the sanctuary is at 8:30 and 11:00.  Contemporary worship at the west campus is at 9:30.  Have you given up on a seemingly fruitless undertaking you’re feeling nudged to restart?  Perhaps you are closer to net-breaking success than you imagine.  Of course, the decision to restart would be made easier if we could more easily discern when it is Jesus doing the nudging… 

Come home to worship this Sunday!  Persistent attendance has its rewards.

Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator

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