Because of expected ice storm on Sunday January 9, only 8:30 worship will take place onsite.

February 22, 2024

A Pastoral Word. . . Fish Stories

Pastor Kevin Freeman

February 22, 2024
This time of year, the only amazing “catches” we might hear about relate to football, but fishing aficionados love to talk about their fish stories, too. You may have heard a few whoppers in your day, but I came across a fish story that involves a catch even more amazing than landing some big, elusive fish nicknamed “Bubba.”

An ABC news report describes a fishing trip that 14-year-old Connor Halsa enjoyed with his grandfather in northern Minnesota, when Connor made a startling catch. He reeled in a wallet, which contained $2,000 cash! Eventually, Connor was able to track down the wallet’s owner, Jim Denney of Iowa. Jim came to retrieve the wallet and was impressed that Connor turned down his offer of reward money. Jim gave Connor a custom fishing cooler and took the family to dinner as a thank you. I love what Connor said when asked why he was honest and returned the cash: “We didn’t really work hard for the money. He did, so it was his money.”

As Christians, we are familiar with Christ’s command to be “fishers of men.” Mark 1:17 says, “And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men’” (ESV). That promise can sometimes feel daunting and overwhelming. We strive to follow Jesus, but our fishing skills sometimes seem lacking. When I go fishing – for fish – I know the basics but lack the sense to know where the fish congregate, what time of day is best, or what angle I should cast from relative to the sun’s positioning. Experienced fishermen know these sorts of things, but when I consider them, I figure it’s best that I not cast my line into the water at all.

Have you considered that Jesus simply wants us to cast a line into the water? Following Him is more about fishing than catching. Experienced fishermen have had days with rotten luck, while newbies have enjoyed amazing days without knowing why.

But none of them can catch anything if they don’t cast a line into the water, just as Connor would not have caught that wallet without casting his line. Maybe his line had snagged a few times earlier on a stick or seaweed, or it may have even snapped on an old tire. Maybe that’s how you feel.

We all have had trouble when attempting to fish for people – to share our faith and connect people to Christ and to fellowship with other believers. If that has kept you from “fishing” recently, are you ready to try again? How might you cast a line into the water this week?

Who knows what fish stories you will tell!

Your partner in ministry,
Kevin Freeman
Image by Khalid Mehmood from Pixabay.

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