Wednesday, January 01, 2014

The Challenge Continues, Day 360: Zechariah 14; Psalm 143; Luke 5

360-degree Thinking
What an odd request: a journeyman carpenter-turned-preacher asks a professional fisherman if, after not having caught anything the night before, would he be willing to lower his net on the other side of the boat? Setting aside the absurdity, the lack of common sense and the opacity of Jesus' apparent ignorance, why should he, and what should he expect?

Certainly not the outcome. The nets are breaking, the boat is listing up to the gunwhales. He needs help to haul in the catch, and the nets are nearly totally ruined.

"Don't worry," says the carpenter. "From now on, you will be fishing for people."

That's the challenge Jesus places before US today, on this 360th day of the Bible Challenge.

Are we willing to think in such a way as to embody his model of 360-degree thinking? Are we willing to take it all in, to absorb everything God is giving us in this moment and then act in faith?

In my years of ministry, that is the one thing I find is the hardest for anyone in Christ to risk. It's our last hurdle to surmount. It's hard for an individual, harder still for a community...that 360-degree thinking that leads to acts of faith like the one Jesus offers to Peter and his compatriots.

Are you, and is your church, ready to take on Jesus' challenge to cast your nets over the other side of the boat?

Or, is that just nonsense? Who would do such a silly thing?


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