Fisher Folk

Good morning!

Last Saturday I spent the day on the ice, fishing. This is something that I haven’t done in 35 or so years. Before that it was a regular part of my winter experience. We made our way to the lake, bundled for the weather with all the necessary equipment to spend some hours fishing. The holes were made in the ice, hooks bated and then we fished. As I sat in the middle of the lake and looked out across the ice I could see others doing the same thing. In the distance was the shore line. In that moment what came to mind for me was Jesus and the call of the first disciples. James, John and Peter were fishing when Jesus stood on the shore and invited them to follow.

I wonder if this was simply random on Jesus’ part or did he specifically seek out fishermen to be the first disciples? When I think about what is required to be a fisher I can’t help but think that maybe Jesus was intentional in his actions. To be a fisher takes great skill, commitment, dedication, insight and a connection to creation. One must have the right equipment for every situation – ice fishing, salmon fishing, lobster fishing, fly fishing, tuna fishing etc. A fisher must be willing to brave the elements and be prepared for calm and stormy waters; be patient enough to wait for hours and sometimes go home empty handed; be able to adjust to circumstances and move from spot to spot; be physically, emotionally and spiritually fit. Perhaps Jesus saw this and knew that these skills were what was needed for the mission and ministry that lay ahead.

Of course, we will never know for sure what was behind Jesus’ actions but when I reflect on the ministry that has been entrusted to us I do think that perhaps the fisher folk of our world might have something to teach us .


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