Vicar's Letter April 2016
My brother-in-law is a mad keen fisherman...He spends much of his spare time fishing and my sister has to provide special foods for his fish-catching, apparently fish are very partial to Asda’s own sweetcorn!
He has recently just come back from a fishing trip to Ireland and has regaled us with many tales of the beautiful fishing waters and all that he caught. Two of this fish, five of that, a whopping great something or other – you can tell I’m not a fishing person as I can’t remember the names…
He enthused of how, at the end of the day, he would raise his keep net out of the water which was exploding with thrashing fish then release them into the water, giving them their freedom.
In the Bible we read that the people of Ephesus, a newly converted Christian community, had got themselves in to a right mess and were not behaving ‘Christianly’ at all.
Paul’s words to them, in scolding tone were; ‘By grace you are saved!’ The Ephesians had got themselves caught up in never-ending tangles of selfishness, prejudice and in—fighting, thrashing around without purpose or hope, much in the same we do at times, and God gave them – and us - a way out.
God opened the net in which they thrashed, restored them to the freedom God had created for them and which they’d lost. God gave to them freely and graciously, what they had no power to achieve for themselves.
When Jesus called Peter and Andrew to follow him. He told them ‘I will make you fishers of men’ In a way that is almost an image of being made captive, but thinking of what my brother-in-law on the riverbank. it can be seen in a new light…. We’re caught in God’s net not to be eternally confined but to be released to a freedom we could never have imagined possible, never begin to understand and certainly never earn.
Revd Jane Parry