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Caught, Not Taught

Funny how the story resets after Epiphany.  We move from the visit of the Magi to Jesus’ home in Bethlehem, right to his ministry.  Of course, we have no real option given that the only biblical incident in Jesus’ boyhood comes to us in Luke as Jesus teaches in the Temple, then misses the bus home to Nazareth (Luke 2:41-51).  So, yes, we reset ourselves to Jesus’ ministry.

 

Thanks to old man winter, we missed Jesus’ baptism last week.  As we move ahead in Mark’s gospel, we come to the calling of the first disciples as recounted in Mark 1:14-20.  If you recall, when God spoke to the Magi in Matthew, God used a star, knowing that the Magi were astrologers, who studied the stars.  Similarly, when Jesus calls his first disciples, he calls fisherman working on the Sea of Galilee near Capernaum.  His pitch?  “Come with me and I will transform you into Seminary educated evangelism specialists, well versed in the latest technology and ministry trends.  You know, ‘cause ‘we’re gonna keep the main thing the main thing.’”  Sigh….

 

No Jesus, knowing the passion and expertise of his first disciples simply said, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people (Mark 1:17 NRSV).”  Imagine, fishermen doing what they do best; fishing.  They use their gifts and graces, simply fishing for people going forward.  It is no surprise to learn that the faith is caught rather than taught.

 

When folks are presented with a new way of being and doing, a new way of seeing the world and how they fit into it, a new way of living, it is contagious.  As I read the gospel accounts, the parallels between Jesus’ world and ours are quite similar.

 

What if we simply let our light shine?  What if our daily prayer is for us to be an instrument of God’s grace, love, and peace?  What if we simply concentrated on not behaviorally pushing people away from the faith?  What if we helped people be caught by Jesus rather than being taught a new doctrine or tribal affiliation?

 

Maybe Jesus had a very simple method and we’ve made it too complicated.

 

Just sayin’.  See you Sunday.

 

Paul

 

PS—The Lenten study will be The Third Day: Living the Resurrection by Tom Berlin.  Michel can order the books from Cokesbury for $12.00







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