THE ‘LET’ OF LENT – Wednesday, March 17th
Read Luke 5:1-11.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon,
“Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”
Luke 5:4 (NRSV)
Today, we are invited to Let down our nets for a catch. We are invited to spread our souls out and let God fill them with all good things… except we are not to cast them into our usual places. We may be even invited to put out into deeper water. Where might Jesus be calling us to drop our nets? What new and surprising places might he have in mind for us? What good things will we discover there?
In this story from Luke, Jesus was surrounded by crowds “pressing in on him.” When he saw two boats on the shore, he climbed into Simon’s boat and asked him to go out on the lake so he could teach from there. When he finished, he surprised Simon by instructing him to go into the deeper water and put his nets down. Simon had been fishing all night long and had caught nothing! Jesus’s words did not make sense to Simon, but he must have sensed that Jesus was to be trusted, and so he obeyed. He and the fishermen caught so many fish that Simon fell to his knees! From that moment on, Simon Peter and his partners followed Jesus.
Today let’s consider how we might move into deeper water in our relationship with God in Christ, whether through prayer, worship, contemplation, journaling, study, or service. How might Jesus be calling us to spend time with him in new ways? Have your prayers become stale, rote? These months of social distancing from one another may cause us to feel separated from God, too. For many of us, our way of worshiping has changed significantly. Are you finding new ways to spend time with God and others? When you cast out the net of your soul, is it being filled with all of the goodness of God?
Our invitation for today is to change our way of drawing near to God, especially if we have been merely skimming the surface or wading in the shallows. Changing our routine can refresh our souls, our outlook, and our perspective. We can try a meaningful prayer practice, begin a new spiritual book, praise God as we walk outdoors, create a cozy corner just for prayer, or listen to inspirational music or podcasts. We can even reposition ourselves through our approach – through our spirit – by letting our guard down, changing our expectations, or silencing our requests.
Like Simon, we may have our doubts about moving into deeper waters, and we may feel a bit of uncertainty and discomfort. What do these feelings reveal in us, teach us? How are we being stretched? These revelations can also be embraced as gifts of discovery as we move more deeply into God.
God is always at work within us. God always wants to fill our nets with abundant goodness and love. Today, let’s ask God to show us where and how we are to cast our nets. When we eventually draw them in, may we glean all that is nourishing, worthy, and fruitful, as we thank Jesus for calling us into deeper waters.
Our readings for tomorrow will be Hebrews 12:1-2 and James 1:2-4.
Photo by Romain HUNEAU on Unsplash
Bible verses taken from https://classic.biblegateway.com/