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Hallwood Ecumenical Parish

Bethesda, Palace Fields & St. Mark’s, Beechwood

Church of England – Methodist – United Reformed Church

www.hallwoodparish.org.uk

24 January 2021

 

Gone Fishing   (Mark 1:14-20)

In this reading from Mark’s Gospel we find Jesus out “fishing”, looking for more disciples to join his team. On the shore of Lake Galilee he meets some fishermen and calls them to go with him. How long that conversation was, or the details of what he said to them, Mark does not record. We do know, however, that Jesus told these work-hardened lifelong fishermen that he would teach them how to fish! Not, perhaps, the best way to make friends and influence people. But he was referring to a different sort of “catch”.

Fishing, then as now, is a dangerous and risky operation; success and survival depending on skill. The weather can be unpredictable and the best fishing is at night, so they work unsociable hours in difficult conditions. Clearly, Jesus saw that their skills, determination and experience would be key to the task of fishing for people to draw them into the Kingdom of God.

Jonah is someone else who went fishing, except he was caught by a fish! God had called him to go and preach condemnation on Nineveh, the main city of their feared enemy, Assyria. Jonah’s response was immediate, a firm “No!”, and he fled. So it was that, having been thrown overboard from his escape ship (for causing a storm) that he found himself socially isolated inside a fish, with time to consider his future. Coming to his senses, he went back and did what God asked – with great success.

We may not be professional fishermen but Jesus calls us, with our particular skills and experiences, to his work of Kingdom building. Perhaps we can use this present time of isolation and reduced busyness to deepen our own faith so that we may be ready to follow Jesus where he will lead us.

Alan Ventham

Hallwood Ecumenical Parish

Bethesda, Palace Fields & St. Mark’s, Beechwood

Church of England – Methodist – United Reformed Church

www.hallwoodparish.org.uk

24 January 2021

 

Gone Fishing   (Mark 1:14-20)

In this reading from Mark’s Gospel we find Jesus out “fishing”, looking for more disciples to join his team. On the shore of Lake Galilee he meets some fishermen and calls them to go with him. How long that conversation was, or the details of what he said to them, Mark does not record. We do know, however, that Jesus told these work-hardened lifelong fishermen that he would teach them how to fish! Not, perhaps, the best way to make friends and influence people. But he was referring to a different sort of “catch”.

Fishing, then as now, is a dangerous and risky operation; success and survival depending on skill. The weather can be unpredictable and the best fishing is at night, so they work unsociable hours in difficult conditions. Clearly, Jesus saw that their skills, determination and experience would be key to the task of fishing for people to draw them into the Kingdom of God.

Jonah is someone else who went fishing, except he was caught by a fish! God had called him to go and preach condemnation on Nineveh, the main city of their feared enemy, Assyria. Jonah’s response was immediate, a firm “No!”, and he fled. So it was that, having been thrown overboard from his escape ship (for causing a storm) that he found himself socially isolated inside a fish, with time to consider his future. Coming to his senses, he went back and did what God asked – with great success.

We may not be professional fishermen but Jesus calls us, with our particular skills and experiences, to his work of Kingdom building. Perhaps we can use this present time of isolation and reduced busyness to deepen our own faith so that we may be ready to follow Jesus where he will lead us.

Alan Ventham