Luke 5:1-11 (NRSV)
Chapter 5Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, Verse 2he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Verse 3He 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. Verse 4When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch." Verse 5Simon answered, "Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets." Verse 6When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. Verse 7So 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. Verse 8But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!" Verse 9For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; Verse 10and 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." Verse 11When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.
People who fish know that some fish swim near the surface; others live in deeper waters. Those who fish with a pole use bait to attract a certain kind of fish and are only able to catch one fish at a time. But those who use nets dip them into the water and haul in an abundant catch—fish of all sizes and varieties—the fish that are highly prized for flavor, as well as the slimy bottom feeders; the fish whose scales shimmer and the fish that are spiny. Some of these fish are tastier than others, but all are hauled in. When you fish with nets, you cannot pick and choose what you catch; you pull up everything. And it's the same in Christ's community—the catch is abundant and includes everyone. All of us! Each one is called and welcomed and united in the body of Christ.
God of all, you call us to be in relationship with people who are different than us. Encourage us to practice your wide welcome, sustain us when we fail, and give us courage to try again. Amen.