I have to confess to being possessive about fishing spots. I have fished Choctawhatchee Bay for a fair number of years and I have found a very productive fishing spot. Only a few people know the place I fish, and I keep that secret well. The footprint of the spot I fish is relatively small. But I usually catch fish, last week 20 redfish and trout. I know where the best spots are. I know the tackle that works. There is often unseen abundance under the surface of the water.
But I am just an amateur. In John 21, Jesus encounters His disciples on a fishing trip. Even though they know fishing they have fished all night and caught nothing. Jesus comes near and tells them to throw their nets "on the right side of the boat." They caught so many fish the nets are ready to break.
We are in a time where our fishing has been hampered. We keep fishing and we keep going on, but we feel like things aren't being productive. It is a struggle to serve virtually, do Bible study on Zoom, preach to the few workers who help out on Sunday morning, have little or no interaction with the public during office hours and generally feel like we are 'stuck' in the mud of this pandemic. Then, I read this passage.
None of us have lost our giftedness. We have gifts for ministry that God can use at all times. We might have to be more creative than usual, but we have talents. We can use them!
We have a Master that knows the right place to fish. He is saying, "cast those nets in places that are out of your comfort zone." Sunday morning, and hopefully this week, Nicey will cast her net differently as she hosts a Zoom Sunday School Class. She fished there last week and I am pretty sure they were biting. Jackie, Janet, Emily and Freddy cast their nets on the right side of the boat as they plan Senior Moment Sunday (May 17 from 2-4 PM in front of the church). You can drive by, see them and their parents, and drop notes, gifts and well-wishes into their baskets (maintaining physical distance). There will also be special video clips that week at worship. Jesus knows where to fish as we use our obedience and creativity to serve where we are planted.
And remember ... Jesus (and the Holy Spirit) are in charge of our abundance. We join in the harvest, but the Lord of the harvest delivers the crop. We cast our nets where we are directed. We use the abilities we have been given. And we trust that God will and can do great things if we follow Him. It is a good fishing story but a better ministry story. Thanks be to God! Randy