Wednesday, before the winter storm and blizzard started in earnest, I went to put on my winter boots only to discover one had split in several places the last time I blew snow. I guess they didn’t like going out in -30. I searched for my gorilla tape. No luck. I thought about using CA glue, then paused after opening the bottle. “What if…?” I wondered. There’s a Bible passage where some fishermen are having terrible luck. But, Jesus, suggested to them that they go out further to drop their nets. They might have said, “No.” Instead, they responded, “What if…he is right?” Their nets were filled to overflowing.
“What if…I take my boots back to Scheels where I bought them two or three years ago?” They say they pride themselves on customer service. So, I carried my boots into Scheels hoping they might be able to send them in somewhere to be fixed. I shared they were 2 or 3 years old but mostly worn for snow blowing. Within moments, I was being handed a gift card for new snow boots. I was stunned. They’ve made me a fan and I’m willing to say good words about them. The fishermen’s nets were overflowing. It made them a fan of Jesus–so much so that they were willing to drop everything to follow him and become “fishers of people” (Luke 5:1-11).
How many times has Jesus exceeded our expectations: answered our prayers with more than we thought possible, carried us through what we thought might crush us, cared for someone we love when we ourselves could do no more? Jesus invites us to share those stories, too. In fact, when we follow Jesus we are encouraged to extend kindness and understanding beyond what people expect. We are called to be generous beyond what is customary. I think that’s part of what Jesus means when he calls his followers to fish for people. Going above and beyond in caring for others can be one way we invite others to know God cares and understands. (This seems a good time to share the reminder that coats, boots and gloves are being collected for the homeless. They can be brought to Grace and we will get them to Jillian Gould – director at the Gladys Ray shelter).
Who do we know that might need some extra care? How might we show that person or family, that we care and God cares? This week I invite us to pray God will show us how to show others Jesus loves them deeply. I invite us to pray about ways we people might experience the surprisingly generous love and care of Jesus at Grace Church.
We’ll explore caring and other ways of inviting people to know Jesus’ love this Sunday at Grace with our theme: “Jesus Invites Us – Grow in Purpose.” Hope to see you there.
Blessings, Pastor Roger