Back in February the tour party had boarded a very modern motor vessel which took us out on the Sea of Galilee.
When the motor was turned off, it was so peaceful out there – no signs of the sudden storms that were such a problem for first-century fishermen. The storms can still come up without warning – but we were safe anyway!
Just then Daniel, one of the crew, emerged from below deck dressed for fishing – though I doubt whether Peter and Andrew and the others would have worn white!
Daniel skilfully cast out the net on the left side of the boat. Nothing doing! Nothing on the right side of the boat either! He explained that he does catch fish, but much closer to the shore.
It was on this same lake that Peter, James and John and four non-fishing disciples came to fish after the crucifixion and resurrection of the Lord Jesus (John 21.1-19).
In those days fishing wasn't a recreational activity. Peter was testing himself – should he go back fishing? He didn't feel he could really go on to "fish for men." He felt such a failure – what could he do?
That night they caught nothing. Only with the help of the "stranger" on the shore were they able to bring in a huge catch. And, Peter, the call still holds!
We're coming up to harvest time again – so soon!
Harvest – I think that's the metaphor Jesus would use to call his people in the Burdekin. It comes on us with a sense of urgency. We don't have forever. The preparation and planting and watering have been done and now is the time to gather in the work of the year.
For us as Christians it's harvest time, too. We are to reach out into the Burdekin community. We have a life to live, a task to do, a message to share… That will involve the commitment of time, talents and treasures – by all of us! Preparation, planting, watering… and harvest!
Anyone who can't see beyond the annoyance of the "Burdekin snow" isn't really committed to the harvest. What are the signs that we are committed to the spiritual harvest to which Jesus calls us? Let's step forward together!
© Peter J. Blackburn, Burdekin Link, June 2001