Getting Out of the Boat

The Daily Selectionary

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Today’s Readings:

Daily Office Readings: (AM) Psalm 5, 6; (PM) Psalm 10, 11   

Isa. 40:25-31; Eph. 1:15-23; Mark 1:14-28 


Eucharistic Readings: Heb. 2:5-12;Psalm 8; Mark 1:21-28


Getting Out of the Boat

Christopher Hodges


Mark 1:14-28

14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.” 16 And passing along by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zeb’edee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them; and they left their father Zeb’edee in the boat with the hired servants, and followed him. 21 And they went into Caper’na-um; and immediately on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. 22 And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. 23 And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; 24 and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching! With authority he commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 28 And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.

                Spontaneity.  I find it a great attribute.  I use to have loads of it.  I was able to make a decision at the drop of a phone call or an email and just go.  Go to Where?  I was not always too sure, but I went nonetheless.  I had no fear.  If I put myself into a situation that was not good for me, then I would make a decision to get away from that incident upon running into the problem.  My free spirit allowed me to participate in life and to take away so many experiences.

                Somewhere along the line, I have lost a lot of that spontaneity.  Every now and then I find a spark of it.  I know that I have grown older and more mature so that has a lot to do with the dwindling.  I think things through before I act upon them most of the time.  I have learned from many mistakes and now my brain sounds off alarms whenever a past unwieldy experience could rear itself again.  I am warned of impending doom.  Still, yet, I could benefit from some more of that spontaneity now.  I want to still experience life, but security has led to complacency which some times more than ever has led to laziness.  One of my resolutions this year is to embrace my spontaneous curiosities once again.

                Just think about how the lives of these men in today’s Gospel would have been if they decided to become complacent and tell Jesus “no.”  What if the fishermen had decided to stay in the boat content with what they were doing instead of going with Jesus?  They may have caught more fish.  This is how they earned their living.  But Jesus asked them to come along with him, and they could see what it would be like to become “fishers of men.”  This turned their heads.  I would have been intrigued too.  How can you fish for men?  What is this guy talking about?  I must come along with him.  If you think about it, Jesus had caught these men.  He “fished” and reeled them in with a great hook, “become fishers of men.” 

                Because of their spontaneity, they were able to see Jesus at the very start of his ministry.  They saw some incredible things.  Because of their “yes” to follow Jesus into Capernaum, they decided to start following Jesus everywhere, and Jesus eventually attained disciples.  If they decided to keep fishing in the sea, their lives probably would have not been miraculously changed.  But they agreed to follow and now they were sharing their changed lives with others.

                This year, I will strive to be more spontaneous with ministry opportunities.  God may be asking me to follow, and I do not want to miss out on changing other’s lives because he has changed my own.

Daily Scripture readings are taken from The Revised Common Lectionary and can be read in full at  NRSV translation of the Holy Scriptures.  Please feel free to pass along this email to whomever you feel may benefit from it. – Christopher Hodges  2010   email:

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