Don't Be Afraid

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Narrative Lectionary Year 3 (2020-2021)  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  23:38
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Our meeting today is from Luke chapter 5.

One day Jesus was standing beside Lake going to start it when the crowd pressed in around him to hear God's word. Jesus thought you both sitting by the lake the fisherman have gone ashore and we're washing their Nets. Jesus boarded one of the boats the one that belong to Simon then ask him to roll out a little distance from the shore. Jesus sat down and taught the crowd from the boat. When he finished speaking, he said to Simon Rowe out farther into the deep water and drop your nets for a catch. Simon applied Master, we've worked hard all night and caught nothing. But because you say so I'll drop the Nets. So they drop the Nets and their catch was so huge that their Nets were splitting. They signaled for their partner than the other boat to come and help them. They fill both boats. So full that they were about to think. With them and Peter saw the catch he fell it Jesus's me. Then said leave me Lord for I am a sinner. Peter and those with him were overcome with amazement because of the number of fish they caught James and John zebedees Sons were Simon partners and they were amazed to Jesus said to Simon Don't Be Afraid from now on you will be fishing for people. As soon as they brought the boat to shore they left everything and followed Jesus.

Hearing the reading.

No, I'm what they often call a digital native. I was born in 1980 and I hardly remember. A life before I owned a computer. I got my first computer when I was 5 years old. and I started programming when I was nine, and I've been programming computers ever since. I continue to do now even as I do ministry. swelling I grew up in the time when I first I did work on multiple systems. Are you dial up with your phone and then later on the internet and it became popular. My Generation right on the cusp between what they called gynexin what they call the Millennials iPhone x called xenial and that that area between the two on my generation is known for playing a computers in elementary school and inventing the all of the various emojis and in Internet shorthand that we use now. In high school, I worked for internet company and I had high-speed internet to my home before it was really common. Never since then I've been I've been online. I've had things right at the touch of my and my fingers are the tips of my fingers and The generation after me my daughter's generation is so much more native to this digital life than that. Even I am and it's amazing but one of the side effects of that I think is that I have very little patience. Sometimes I'm very used to things happening right away.

When I was younger, I would talk on the phone or to get online and chat with my friends and I could chat with people all over the world instantaneously. I came to expect things like being able to stream videos being able to purchase. I first thing like movie tickets and and things in later on things at books and items look at your house. And then finally even my groceries online.

but this pandemic Has caused something great interesting. I think it is caused the entire world to pause and take a break.

Besides going to the doctor and going to the grocery store. I really haven't left my house in a year. and almost a year

I've gone to see one friend in that entire year in one visit to someone else's house and that entire year. Otherwise, I've just been home. Haven't been able to go to a physical church building in a year. I haven't been able. to go out and do karaoke or go to the I to the pubs, if you will do to the to the wonderful restaurants, we have around haven't been able to go to the zoo or to the park really haven't gone hiking or camping. Haven't seen a movie. The whole world is kind of pause. Per year in here in Japan, you know where we're supposed to get the the code back seen in March. Hopefully they have to do a separate test on the Japanese population before they can be released here. So I'm waiting patiently but waiting patiently is not something that has come naturally to me. Certainly when I was younger. It was something I I had a problem with. I find that I'm often.

low on patience in in short with people and when I got into Ministry and when I got into wanting to do a church start one of the pieces of advice that I received it. By Ministry in general, but especially about church starts is that you have to be patient. It takes a long time to get things going. That you'll maybe you plan for a year or two before you can have a service that you have services with very little attendance for the first year or two after that people who were really interested suddenly leave and new people come. things seem to move extremely slowly and again for somebody who is used to having things right away. This is the this is very difficult very difficult situation for me. But since moving to Japan at the really think that I have come to embrace more off and it's been it's been good. The reason I bring this up is because of our reading today. A reading from Luke finds us on the shores of Lake going to start it. I'm sure I'm pronouncing that wrong this lake is of course the Sea of Galilee of course, but it is the Sea of Galilee and Luke doesn't call it that Luke had traveled in the Mediterranean and he knew that that Dollywood not a fee that it was a relatively small body of water and so he called it to correctly. I suppose a lake and also he use this term which is not used anywhere else in in the Bible to describe the Sea of Galilee or the lake of Galilee except in Luke. So I don't actually know that the three of this particular word, but that's that's the word he uses. But we Financial all kind of on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. And this was a place where they were fishermen. Lots of fishing was done and Jesus is traveling because he's going from place to place and preaching and talking and the people are pressed around him and the stove is you becoming so well known in Galilee. The people are coming to see him that he can't get away with enough space even to talk and so he calls to Simon I often when is Peter, this is Saint Peter. And he asked Simon to you. He can use Simon's boat to go out onto the water and he goes out of the water just a little ways and begin preaching and and and teaching from from the boat. I'm told that this area that the section of the Sea of Galilee has kind of a natural Amphitheater because of the way that the shore is is curved if he can be very well heard.

So he gets out away and he's he's teaching in when he's done. He tells Simon to go out into the deep water again and throw down his net. This is really interesting for a couple of reasons. One is the same interaction with with Simon and Sons of Zebedee and Andrew is not mentioned in this text.

But is Simon brother did this theme the same interaction happens in Mark and Matthew also, but in Mark and Matthew, it's mud this this thing with the fishing is not involved and it's much more mature earlier in the in the story and it's it's much in the narrative and it's much more abrupt. Jesus says you seems to come upon these these two fishermen Simon and Andrew and says, you know, leave your fishing boats and come and follow me and they can't do there's no there's no like there's no there's no explanation of why they decided to do that. And then they they convinced the sons of Zebedee to come along as well. And under the first four of Jesus's apostle. So In Luke's telling the story happens later in the narrative and we're already into chapter 5 and right before this in the section that we didn't read it part of our election everything. We have an event where Jesus heals Simon's mother who is very ill with fever. Simon already knows Jesus at this point. This isn't you just coming up along the pond somebody from random fisherman. The sign is somebody who is who is no one of Jesus in the community has heard about his preaching who is Steven do miraculous things who has witnessed Jesus healing his own his own mother and now we have this this event where he goes out and pulls up these fish. So there's all of this experience that Simon has before he decides to follow to follow Jesus and for this makes more sense, I think in the narrative then just saying that one day Jesus walking along and talk to fishermen say Hey you come follow me and they did.

There's a great there's a great scene in The Simpsons The Simpsons episode where where? You're the guy named LT smash with starting a boy band to do subliminal messaging to make the kids join. The Navy has great episode and but one point Bart confront him and you know, it would have the subliminal you want anything. Yeah, we have we have three level subliminal luminol in superliminal superliminal to open the window because he you join the Navy in the story in Matthew and Mark of Jesus coming up on Simon and anger and being like, you know what you're doing and join me. I kind of think it like I feel like that but it looks telling him that makes a lot more sense. Simon already knows Jesus payment has already had Jesus duties of these amazing things for him. And now he Witnesses this this event this this Miracle with up with Fish And you know the idea that Jesus know something before this also explains why Jesus asked Simon to use his boat to go out and do the preaching you have time. I would have been okay with it because he knew Jesus was so I think that's interesting because I kind of reading some background on this this first I learned that the the way that they fished in the Sea of Galilee of the time was kind of interesting with what they did and they had two boats that would go out on the water and they would take a nap and they would string than that between the two boats and drop it into the deep into the deep water and then pull it along with the boat. And that would kind of scoop up fish between the boats and then they would pull in that shopping therapy session the internet but they couldn't do it during the day because if it received in that and so they did that night they went at night and did this that they would catch the fish when they couldn't really see the Nets. So here we get Simon's comment re says Master we've worked hard all night and caught nothing. So they've been out all night fishing and they haven't caught anything. And as we working you hard working people spending the night working and then having nothing to show for it is really bad and it fits it really hurts and hurts you kind of emotionally in the ending in from your morale protective. It author is financially can you sell to pay your your assistant to your your workers? Because I'm definitely not that will probably probably not one of the poorest of the fisherman because he owns the boat. So he's he's hiring and other fishermen to help him as far as you can tell. Until maybe have to pay his workers me or do they have anything to sell it at the market today even kind of a bad mood had a hard time it is what it is been pushing is sometimes it's great. You have a hard time and that's part of part of the life. So when Jesus tell them go out and drop the net you can hear it in his voice inside this this frustration like Jesus. We we've been out fishing all night, but he says but you know because you said so I'll do it if it goes out and does it and he pulls in this huge catch so many fish did he can't do it. Take a nap. I'm selfish to call her to the boat over to help him pull the net out of the water. If you didn't have to catch anything, you know, he only went out with the one boat was invented to catch anything. They've been fishing all night too surprised by that. The net is so full that it's about to break. And they they bring the fish in and upon seeing is Miracle Simons response is to fall down on his knees and stay please Lord. Leave me go away cuz I'm a sinner. Here we see. I kind of call back to

to the scene of John the Baptist's father who ha with working in the temple and with a purse for the by the by the Angels instead, you know, I am and I'm an unclean. I'm a man with unclean lips living on the people of unclean lips in these moments of of a direct connection with someone so much more holy than you are. If you well then this person then that person reaction is is one of all but also want to fear and one is like white, you know, I'm not worthy to be here. Why are you bothering me? Cut off and it's it's easier for us to believe that we're not worthy than to believe that we are worthy. I think.

But Jesus responds to find me Wednesday, that is don't be afraid. From now on you will be fishing for people. When I get the boat ashore Simon and his brother Andrew and the Zebedee Brothers leave everything they have on the shore including this these net full of fish. Apparently. I'm in follow Jesus. There's a lot that you can pull out of the story that I think there's like three or four good sermon in this one little Passage.

But the one I want to focus on today. And why bring this up it was this is his frustration. It is so easy to become frustrated with people. It's so easy, especially when you are someone who wait when you feel that you will you have a lot of knowledge or experience or expertise in something the TV to become frustrated when people don't seem to understand our when somebody comes along with no history or experience and tells you that you're doing it wrong this should we see? I'm kind of with with Simon's but Simon his credit. He keep complained that he often does it because he trusts Jesus. He seen Jesus do miraculous things in the past and he heard what Jesus said. And do you believe that if Jesus is telling him to do that, there must be a good reason and so he doesn't anyway, even though he's frustrated about it.

Then when things don't go the way we expect. We often look for a logical explanation. Here here was Simon out fishing all night. Hadn't caught anything. Maybe he yelled it wrong. Maybe maybe they made a mistake. Maybe God was punching him. Maybe maybe maybe maybe all these things. But it doesn't seem like you know Peter has any. Any is guilty of anything that do anything wrong and it's going to be you haven't done anything wrong. You know, it's just a bad day for him. And so Hear you getting frustrated and then Jesus comes along in and says do this now. He does it and it turns out to be completely different from what he was expecting.

there is another thing here didn't you know this there's a there is a need this verse this is pathogen is often used to talk about evangelism in the church to talk about going out and and building up the church and building up. the Christian Community and talk like we're going to make you Fishers for people. And I think if I think this this passage could definitely use in that way. We certainly Jesus says, you know, you'll be fishing for people but I think just saying that that Jesus is telling us to go and fish for people is if missing the point of the of the heading to important points one is that Jesus meets Peter where he is the route Jesus ministry, he he speaks to people from the perspective that they already find themselves in the when he speaks to fisherman. He talks about fishing, you know, when he speaks to the woman whose is waiting at the well, he talks about water. You know when I when he speaks to the hungry, he talks about bread and he uses uses words and phrases and language that meet people where they are and answer the questions they have directly without using flowery explanation there a long discussion topics or anything, you know, he speaks the language of the of the of each person that he talks to you. In the second point is that he tells Peter from now on to be fishing for people right? After Peter has had this frustrating. Right after Peter has had these failures of going out overnight catching anything. How many times in our own religious experience in our own spiritual life and our own evangelism how many times have we met with frustration and disappointment? You know people often don't fit into our ideas of of our own goals our own timelines and we want really badly for things to happen along our are designed to our plans, you know, but if they don't sometimes it don't sometimes things take longer sometimes things don't happen. Sometimes people have other things that are more important to them. And so they put your needs to the side. Sometimes people just forget or unreliable sometimes

God just works in God's Own time. It's different from from how we experience time. And that can get really frustrating and there can be anger and there can be fear there can be frustration that can be depression. You know, if you really want something if you were really looking forward to that Rave if you're really looking forward to seeing your family in person and you're unable to you can become depressed. You can become angry you can become frustrated.

and yet this passage tells us is that we have to have faith that in the end things will be will work out the way they're supposed to work out. I'm at the gate for Peter and Peter was so moved by this. Interaction with Jesus that he gives up all of his possessions and then goes to follow Jesus he gives up his his job. He gives up his his thing with his boat fish. He gives up so much to become a disciple.

so I guess my point. Is that despite this pandemic? And despite the fact that we've all had to slow down. You've all had to take a year off as much as we could. Some of us couldn't some of us had to work. Some of us had to do things had to be working with those who were sickened and those who were who needed support. Some of us had to be at jobs that were essential but none the less the world as a whole has taken this break this year. And it's going to continue for at least a few more months at least if not longer. take the time to pay attention to yourself pay attention to your own emotions your own morale or how are you feeling? Are you getting frustrated? Are you getting depressed? Are you getting angry about things that you can't control?

He were Jesus said don't be afraid. Don't Be Afraid trust in God Let It Go and

do all you can do to make the world a better place do all you can do to take care of those few careful when you love and the stranger that you meet her off your neighbors. but fit with that fit with that uneasiness of things not being exactly want them and realize that you're not alone and they got in there with you. And I things will happen in their own time.

I meant

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