Worshippers kneeling in the pews of Trinity Church

Five Ways Into Sunday’s Scripture: Your Willingness Is Enough

LUKE 5:1–11

Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. 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. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” might not be a question that many children were asked in Jesus’ time. Professions and occupations were often passed down generationally. Vocations were only for the wealthy and well-educated. For the ordinary and poor, “careers” like fishing were simply a function of basic family and community survival. When Jesus invited his new fisher friends to drop their nets and follow him, he never promised a livelihood or even support for the families who they would leave behind (that we know of). Even so, at first, they didn’t think they were good enough. In all of our readings this Sunday, someone is questioning their own worthiness to receive or share God’s abundant creation, love, grace, and mercy. And in all cases, their willingness was enough; their willingness to fail, and to fish in the deepest unfamiliar waters, and persist, with faith in the “fishing,” as well as the “catch.” 

—Kathryn Carroll

Christian music composer, researcher, and author Michael Card ponders the value of The Biblical Imagination and how we interpret this week’s Gospel and other influential biblical texts that have shaped modern Christian theology.  

A perspective on our story’s setting contextualizes Luke’s Gospel in a subversive way.

The Miraculous Draught of Fishes, featuring…Andrew? …in Venice? Commentary by Billy Kangas.   

Based on this Sunday’s Old Testament text, Isaiah 6:1–13, “Here I Am, Lord.”

“Credentials” by Daniel Berrigan, with commentary by Ivan M. Granger. “By what authority and quality do we come into the world and act in the world?”

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Coming Up

February 3 at 6:30pm, join Dr. Catherine Meeks and the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers as they explore how the loss and disruption of the past two years can reveal an opening to a community of greater love and justice. Canon Spellers’ new book, The Church Cracked Open: Disruption, Decline, and New Hope for Beloved Community, will serve as a guide to this dialogue.

And this Sunday at 10am, join Discovery with the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers as she speaks about her book The Church Cracked Open. Following Canon Spellers’ talk, the Discovery community will engage in a three-week discussion of her book.

Mondays at 5:30pm, Join Dr. Kathy Bozzuti-Jones as she leads mindfulness practice using guided meditation, reflects on a contemporary poem, shares how poetry can be used on your spiritual journey, and provides questions for ongoing reflection.