Pastor Anne – An Abundant Catch

Luke 5:1-11Youth Sunday – An Abundant Catch
Spumc 9-30-12

By the lake, people are pressing in to hear the word of God from Jesus. Fishermen are out of their boats and washing up. Jesus gets in Simon’s boat and asks him to go out from shore.

When Jesus finishes teaching, he tells Simon to put out in deep water and let down the nets. He answers Jesus with “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
Simon has fished all his life and come from generations of fishermen. He has done what he knew and still follows Jesus guidance though it did not make any sense. He did not know what would happen though he had a good guess.
We read that Simon did it out of obedience, following Jesus’ instructions. He caught so many fish that it was too much for his nets and they began to break. He called out to others to help, filling both boats full of fish.

This was not the first time Simon met Jesus. Simon had known and sees Jesus before. If we go back to Luke 4:38-41, Jesus was teaching at the synagogue and healed a man with an unclean spirit. The news spreads to the region. We read that Jesus goes to Simon’s house which is nearby and his mother in law has a high fever.
Jesus stood over her, rebuked the fever and it left. She got up and served them. I wonder that she wanted to do something! All kinds of sick people and those with demons came to Jesus who was still at Simon’s house. He laid on hands and healed them. Simon had seen all that in his house! It is not clear how much later before Jesus is in his boat at the lake.

Back at the boat, Simon sees all this, is humbled and falling at the feet of Jesus. Go away from me, I am a sinful man. He and others are amazed and afraid. Maybe they were thinking, “Who is this guy? What is he doing in my boat talking to me?”
This is a true response when we meet Jesus. Simon knows the abundance of the catch is not his skill or ability. He was just obedient. God is at work in the world and inviting him to be part of it. That is amazing!

I heard this passage taught at a Youth conference that I went to last year with the Youth leaders. I felt that it describes what is happening in our St Paul Youth SPY ministry.
At times it has felt like so much is going, more than we can imagine. We have asked many others to help. In the last few years, many have volunteered their time Friday nights and in support. Like Simon, people have felt called and just been obedient. Some have come and gone to other callings and others have been added. We began with 20 youth, and it grew to 30 and 40 and even at times 50! It has been lot of work, learning, faith and delight. We have tried lots of things, some things were great and others not so much.
While people served faithfully, it was humbling and clear that it is God’s spirit at work in ways that are far more than us.

We would like to share a few testimonies to give you a glimpse of ways that God has been at work among the Youth and leaders. When we serve God often grows us in faith.
I would like to invite Justin Yalung, Joseph Molina and Clare Bautista forward.
(in Nov 2012 newsletter)

We also have a slideshow of SPY activities to give you a taste for the ministry.

I praise God for this blessing and the faithfulness of those who have and are presently serving. We will take a special offering today to send youth to the Christmas Institute youth retreat. Please use the envelopes in your bulletin and prayerfully consider gift to support our youth who are growing in faith.

Archbishop Oscar Romero said in his last homily,
“Beautiful is the moment in which we understand that we are no more than an instrument of God…”

Many of us have seen the power of Jesus at work around us and in us.
When will we like Simon’s mother in law just start doing and serving Jesus?
When will we like Simon, fall on our knees in amazement and fear?
When will we follow Jesus to catch people for abundant life of Kingdom of God?
If the Spirit is nudging and you are not sure what to do, talk to me or Pastor SunHee, Vi Bautista our lay leader or small group leaders to help you discern.

God is doing amazing things!

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