Reflections: The Fifth Sunday after Trinity

Today’s Reading: Luke 5:1-11
Daily Lectionary: Joshua 10:1-25; Acts 11:19-30

. . . Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” (Luke 5:10)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. We see the boat sinking and the nets ripping, so we figure we need to fix them. The Church is falling apart: If we don’t do something it won’t be here for long. How do we catch the fish? I know it’s a miracle, but this still seems like it should be our job. Lure ‘em in. We need charisma. Programs. Something other than people too old and funny looking to be in TV commercials. This is what ego does. After making everything all about you, it looks in the mirror and realizes that’s a mistake.

The devil whispers to us our insecurities, our fears. The old Adam builds chapels to them instead of to God in the vain hope that those fears will leave him alone. We dump baskets of cash on the altars of our fears as offering, and then pray fervently that things won’t look exactly like Jesus says they look. It’s dark. It’s late. We’re tired. The boat is sinking and the nets are ripping.

Of all the stuff we’re convinced is wrong here, what makes it your job to fix it, and more, what makes you think God can’t work until you do? You miss the point. God is present on a sinking ship. Let it be His job to catch the fish, keep the boat floating, and keep the nets from ripping to shreds. Disappear into the net. Not as worthless, but as one whom God intended to catch.

He backs it up by action. You matter enough to bring Him to the Cross. You matter enough for Him even when your ego thinks it must get in the way. The Church is not a group of people burdened with a pyramid scheme. It is the sinners who have been dragged into the boat and kept in hope. It will stand, not because of us, but simply because God’s Word calls it into existence from nothing and sustains it. “But at Thy Word” was and is enough.

The nets are still ripping. The Church will be full of schism and suffering and sin and pain and fear, but it will hold because God spoke and still speaks. Even now, God works in a sinking ship to bring life to you and all whom He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies and keeps with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian Church He daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers. On the Last Day He will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ. This is most certainly true. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ, the Church’s head, You are her one foundation; In You she trusts, before You bows, And waits for Your salvation. Built on this rock secure, Your Church shall endure Though all the world decay And all things pass away. O hear, O hear us, Jesus! (“Lord Jesus Christ, the Church’s Head” LSB 647, st.1)

Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch