Daily Worship

Not a thing!

Fiona Reynolds April 15, 2024 1 2
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John 21: 4-6 (IB)

Just after daybreak, Jesus was standing on the shore, though none of the disciples knew it was Jesus. He said to them, “Have you caught anything, friends?”

“Not a thing,” they answered.

“Cast your net off to the starboard side,” Jesus suggested, “and you’ll find something.”

This is the first passage upon which I ever preached, almost exactly 17 years ago! I was at sea, embarked with the helicopter squadron in which I was the Logistics Officer. We were taking part in a multi-nation military exercise and, at the same time, our aircrew and engineers were being scrutinised by professional assessors. My team found their work tempo unusually quiet, whilst everyone else had steam coming out of their ears!

Into this context I offered my first reflection, to a small, tired group, which included my Commanding Officer. I suggested that, when we get sucked into a particular task, we can get tunnel-vision and lose perspective. Sometimes, I encouraged, it is helpful to lift our heads, look around, listen to other voices, and try something different. I am not sure how it was received (do we ever?!) but, as you can see, it is a thought that has stuck with me.

In church congregations and institutions, we can all-too-often double-down in times of stress. We just keep keeping-on. Sometimes, this dogged faithfulness is an appropriate response. More often, it is a way of burying our heads in the sand, ignoring the voice of Jesus calling at us to try something different.

 

Prayer:

 

Keep calling to us, Jesus,

keep shouting at the top of your voice!

Celebrate with us when we hear and respond.

Persist, when we refuse to lift our heads.

 

Gracious Spirit,

soften our hearts;

make us receptive

to all we need to hear,

notice,

experience,

so we may be fruitful in our lives,

for the sake of God’s kingdom, AMEN.