Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch." Simon answered, "Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets." When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!" For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people." When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.
In Luke 5:8, Peter says to Jesus, "Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man." Have you ever felt this way when Jesus called you to be one of his disciples? Yes, I have felt like Peter. I am inadequate for the task Jesus has called me to accomplish. Yet my spiritual calling persists even when I feel inadequate.
In this passage of Luke, Jesus calls the disciples at a time when they are physically worn out. They have been fishng all night and caught nothing. Then on Jesus' request Peter casts out his net again and the fish net was filled to overflowing.
Similarly, we like Peter, in our ministry programs and in our church feel inadequate and worn out. We never have enough energy, people or money. Then, like the disciples, the situation changes. We have an overabundance and are not sure how to deal with it.
The promise of this Bible passage is that God will provide what we need. However, it may not be in the way we might expect. Peter expected neither the call nor the catch of fish. He was surprised.
I believe God has many surprises in store for the Paoli United Methodist church. I believe God may be giving us insight as we continue our Lenten book study on prayer and our Lenten Bible study on the book of Isaiah; if our hearts are open to guidance from the Holy Spirit. I have felt inadequate to the task I have been called to accomplish. However, in my weakness, I am made strong when I turn to God and ask for his help and guidance. Therefore, I ask the congregation to make a unified effort to turn to God in prayer and ask for his guidance and wisdom as we step out in faith. Peter did, so can we. Amen.