Last week a friend and I were talking at seminary about our preaching. She acknowledged feeling as if she knows nothing and has no idea what to say ~ feeling like something of a fraud. (She's a terrific preacher, by the way.)
"How do you think I feel?" I asked.
"I think we have to preach ahead of where we are," I concluded.
And I've been thinking about that a lot. How we feel is one thing. Our faith is another. It's nice when they merge, but the reality of being grown-up is that often they do not. And so we preach for others out of the hope that one day they will again.
The conclusion of yesterday's sermon, which was about all those fish and how Jesus out of abundance invites us to share the same:
Do we know when we’re being interrupted by an invitation from God?
When abundance is plopped right down in front of us?
When our God of hope invites us to fish in deeper waters?
Abundance as a gift and an invitation – do we recognize it?
It might look very ordinary
We do not expect Jesus to appear in those mundane moments when we are at our most exhausted and feeling the futility of our efforts.
We are blind to the abundance that lies before us when we are worn down by life’s cares and challenges
It’s likely to be something we resist:
Our to-do lists are long enough, and as long as we wade in the shallows, we have some hope of accomplishing everything on them
Our plans are complicated, and we already know where we need to go and whom we need to call before the end of the day
To be honest, when all is said and done,
We often find it difficult to imagine that Jesus is calling us to anything
And yet there he is, standing on the shore – or in the office, or in the kitchen, or in the classroom, or anywhere else we do not expect him to be, and what he longs for is to give to us extravagantly, so that we may go and do likewise:
Put out into the deep water and let your nets down for a catch.
Welcome the interruptions,
pay attention to the one who is paying attention to you,
let him fill you with a sense of wonder and hope in place of your disappointments
and put out into the deep water and let your nets down.