By Martin Hodson, General Director
‘Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.’ (Luke 5:4).
Simon Peter and his crew have been ‘working all night.’ They must have been physically worn out by their exertions. Despite their hard work they ‘haven’t caught anything.’ Their morale must have been at a low point.
There are times when Jesus invites his weary disciples to come ‘to a quiet place and get some rest’ (Mark 6.31). But on this occasion he urges them to persevere with their work. ‘Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.’
Simon Peter does so as an act of obedience: ‘Because you say so, I will let down the nets.’ This humble submission to Jesus results in amazing blessing: ‘They caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.’
As this New Year begins, the third pandemic year, we may well feel like the disciples, worn out with what we have been through – the changes, the interruptions, the uncertainties and in some cases the loss. But I believe Jesus is calling us to resist discouragement and trust the power of his instruction to persevere. The paradoxical experience of remaining in Jesus is that when we are weak, then we are strong.
So let’s start this New Year with an eagerness to hear what Jesus is calling each of our churches to do, and to pursue that with faithful resilience. As the possibilities of a New Year lie before us, let’s ‘Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.’