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  • Bob Burk

Lent Day 7

Scripture: Mark 11:16-20 (NRSV)

As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea, for they were fishers. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee, and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.


Today's Meditation: 

Listening to some of the voices we hear within the Christian church today, you might think that Jesus taught the disciples how to properly “net” unbelievers, pulling them in and convincing them to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior in order to avoid the frying pan of hell.

Yet there is nowhere in the scriptures that we find Jesus and/or the disciples deploying that message and imagery, nor anything like it.

Jesus wasn’t about converting people to a different religion based on himself. Jesus was about converting people to a different way of life (a different way of living in THIS world) based on his understanding of Judaism. His call was, and is, a call to a life of love, faithfulness, forgiveness, and justice.

Think about this call to follow Jesus you just read from Mark’s Gospel (similar accounts are found in the Gospels of Matthew, and Luke). Jesus uses the imagery of “fishing for people” because he was talking to fisherfolk. But if Peter and Andrew had been mechanics, Jesus might

have called them to learn how to fix the unjust systems of their day. If they had been physicians, he would have invited them to learn how to heal the world with His grace and forgiveness. If they were carpenters, he would have called them to discover how to be faithful builders of His kin-dom.

In the same way, Jesus isn’t calling us to become something completely different, unless our current occupation does harm to others. Instead, we are invited to become more of our authentic selves, more of who the Creator created us to be. The change, the transformation, is the shift from living and working for ourselves alone and learning to live and work for Jesus in ways that benefit all people, all creation.

Lent is often seen as a time to give up something. Something that is harming ourselves or others, hurting our relationships with people and/or God. But it can also be seen as a time to add something to our lives, to learn something new that moves us closer to a life of love, faithfulness, forgiveness, and justice – Kin-dom living. What might you do this Lenten Season to live a different way, using the gifts God has already given you, to show others (not simply tell others about) the love and the grace that has been poured into you by your Savior, Jesus? What new ways might Jesus be inviting you to learn, for your own good, for the good of all creation?


Prayer:

Catch me, Jesus, and transform me into who You created me to be, in this world and for this world. - Amen


Mark Gregory


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