MONDAY MEDITATION: “Go Away from Me!” (December 9, 2019)

Luke 5:1-11

This is what Peter said to Jesus out of sheer terror.

The fisherman had been instructed by Jesus to do something counter-intuitive.  He told Peter to fish a certain way and Peter, the experienced fisherman, knew 100% that it wouldn’t work. But it did, and that’s where the problem lay.

Jesus, then and now, gives us instructions that make no sense. Give up some of your stuff. Give up your prejudice. Love your enemies. Eat and drink with “sinners.” Forgive repeatedly. Help those who can’t help you in return. Be kind to the outcasts.

These instructions are scary because they go against the one thing that holds everything together: our self-preservation default setting. We can come up with a million reasons not to do them because doing them makes us vulnerable.

But in such vulnerability we discover a deeper layer of life we would never have encountered had we kept catching fish. That deeper side is in “catching people.” Encountering and loving people like you and different from you.

What people would Peter have never met, and how much of life would he have never experienced, had he not put his trust in the words of this preacher who showed up on his bit of beach that morning.

Ray Bradbury, the science fiction writer, once said, “If we listened [only] to our intellect, we’d never [fall in love], we’d never have a friendship, we’d never go into business because we’d be so cynical…That’s nonsense. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.”

I don’t want to miss out on flying because I tell the scary Jesus to go away.

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