Have you ever heard this gospel story before? Jesus goes up to four fishermen and tells them to follow him and they will fish for people. And they do it. The gospel writer says they dropped their fishing nets immediately and followed him to fish for people.
It’s interesting that Jesus does not call these fishermen when they are in church or when they’re praying; he meets them in their everyday lives where they actually live and work. He goes to them in their life. And since they are fishermen, he calls them with fishing language, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.”
How do you think Jesus would have called them if they had been carpenters? “Follow me and I will make you hammer for people? Or secretaries? Or health care workers? Or engineers? Or students? Or people out of work? Think of your own work or anywhere you spend a lot of your time. How would Jesus call you to follow? We’ll come back to that.
When Jesus asks these fishermen to follow him, he isn’t asking them to play follow the leader, but, “Be my disciple. Do what I do. Get to know me so that my ways become your ways.” They didn’t fully leave their lives as fishermen; after the resurrection they were still fishing. Now, rather than being fishermen first who happen to like Jesus, they are disciples first, who are sent to do Christ’s work as fishermen.
Following Jesus doesn’t mean leaving our jobs and our families behind us. It means recognizing that as workers, as part of families, as part of our neighborhoods we are called to be there as disciples of Jesus. We aren’t called away from work and life to be disciples; we are sent into work and life as disciples.
For Martin Luther (perhaps you’ve heard of him), he called the roles we have in our lives our vocations. All the various responsibilities and roles that we have in life are specific opportunities God calls us into to show God’s love, mercy, compassion, and forgiveness. We are sent by Jesus to reveal Jesus in the very places where we live our lives.
This is the call of our baptism. We are marked with the sign of the cross and become disciples as our primary identity. That is first.
So, now, how would Jesus call you in your life? “Follow me and I will make you _____________ for people.” That is real. Have you ever really thought about what you do as your call from Jesus? That you are sent by Jesus into the very places where you work, play, volunteer, study, spend time?
You are called to holy work, holy vocations. As disciples. As followers of Jesus. As revealers of Jesus’ love and mercy.
Since we have been sent to do holy work by Jesus, we have an opportunity to share that. Through our relationship with Green Mountain High School, they have asked us to mentor some of their students in the holy work you are involved in, your vocations, your jobs. God may be calling students to be architects, veterinarians, therapists, artists, writers, office workers, plumbers, truck drivers, nurses, lawyers, teachers, and more. There are students at GMHS who would like to consider those vocations, may be called into those vocations, but aren’t sure how to go about it.
So our Neighborhood Church Task Force has developed a Career Mentoring Ministry to help them. Jeff Simley is in the back to answer questions and offer help to follow Jesus in our vocations.
Follow me, Jesus says, and I will make you fish for people.