Bishop's Letter: Let down your nets

When Jesus had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.” 
“Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.”
— Luke 5:4-5

I wonder what Simon, a professional fisherman, thought when he received this command from Jesus. Was he inspired and eager? Or petulant and cynical? He was probably tired from working all night. He might have been discouraged and sad that he didn’t catch anything. 

Regardless of his feelings, he probably did not expect that he would meet a man who would compel him to set aside his nets. Following Jesus changed his life completely.

What are times in your life that God has pulled you away from shore? 

Although I felt called to be a pastor since junior high, it wasn’t not ordained until I was almost 50. 

In my 30s I was married, had two kids at home, worked full time. I didn’t have a college degree, which would be required before I could even begin seminary. I knew that the time and resources required would be significant. It would have been much safer to ignore this lingering call from God. 

My mentor encouraged me to “just get started.” With fear, and excitement, I let down my nets for deeper waters. And my life has been deeply enriched in ways I couldn't have dreamed because of it. 

As I have been travelling throughout the Grand Canyon Synod, I have met many of you with remarkable stories of faith, courage, and trust. Your faith is a constant source of inspiration to me.  

Can you relate to Simon in any way? Have you been working all night for something that hasn’t come your way? Are you feeling tired or hopeless in any part of your life? 

As you pray to God, do you have the courage to listen and respond to where you are being pulled to deeper waters? Can you trust that God is leading and guiding you? 

I want to hear where God is alive in your life, in your community.

With gratitude for you and how God uses you to make a difference,

The Rev. Deborah K. Hutterer
Grand Canyon Synod of the ELCA