Pondering The WORD For Today

Captain Mark’s Weekly Reflection - January 18, 2021

An Urgent Call – Mark 1:14-20

A picture containing outdoor, sky, water, beach

Description automatically generated "And immediately they left their nets and followed him" (Mark 1:18) It was a day like any other day. Business as usual in the lives of Simon, Andrew, James and John with probably what was the most predominant thing in their existence - Fishing… their career, current identity. They’re literally minding their own business when Jesus, walking along the beach comes to them… and interrupts their lives. "Jesus has a nagging way of walking on the sands of our lives and interrupting us." says Joeseph Stowell. Day after day, week after week, month after month, the same routine, the same sea, the same boat. Cast the net then pull it in. If you are not casting the net, you sit in the boat mending the net like James and John. Cast. Mend. Repeat. I’m thinking we know what that’s all about. The days all seem the same, look the same, especially during coronavirus, where life feels lived on auto pilot. Nothing changes, nor do we expect much to happen while sitting around in this latest stay at home order, locked down waiting for the pandemic to get under control, waiting for our turn to get vaccinated and eventually for all of this to be behind us. In the meantime we cast and mend our nets to make a living, feed our families, gain security, hold our family together, keep relationships strong, and to establish an identity. Some cast and mend through another day of loneliness, sadness, or illness. Cast and mend is the context where Jesus comes to us, and where we hear the call to “follow me”. A call to participate in the saving, liberating mission and work of God’s Kingdom. A call for change and growth, orienting our lives in a new direction. From their ordinary everyday work of casting and mending along the seashore, Jesus awakened four fishermen to a new sense of meaning and life changing, life altering purpose, an urgency compelling them all to immediately drop, let go of what they were doing and follow him. The deep sense of urgency eliminated any need for questions, for a full understanding of the magnitude of the call, what is at stake for them, or even a complete grasp of whom they were called to follow. Other than their occupation, the text gives no other clues to explain their eagerness to drop their nets, quit their livelihood, leave their family and decide to respond to the call to follow Jesus. Those two words “follow me” were enough for them to take a step of faith. Jesus can be secretive, but he’s not subtle, as we hear him say “Now is the time! Here comes God’s Kingdom! Change your hearts and lives, and trust this good news1” (Mark 1:15 – CEB) Jesus has something to accomplish, though the goal and purpose may not be immediately revealed to us. Nevertheless, his call to follow is bold, clear, and urgent, shaking would be followers out of their complacency. Jesus called Simon, Andrew, James and John, they had to leave/drop their nets, boats, fishing village, to follow Jesus into new, uncertain, unfriendly places. Do we share their sense of urgency? Their sense that immediacy is required. Jesus call comes fresh every day. What urgent call are you hearing today? What is your Good News, and how will you share it in the turbulent waters of your time and your place?  “Follow me and I will make you….”  is a promise, an urgent call to lean into. Now. May it be a compelling enough call to drop and leave behind in order to follow Jesus wherever and to whomever he leads us to. Prayer: Jesus, thank you for finding us where we are, loving us so uniquely, and calling us to yourself. Give us strength for the journey, the urgency to let go of whatever is holding us back and the joy to follow you where you are leading us to go. Amen.