The Catch

That makes me think that we should turn our Bible story around in our heads and give it a fresh interpretation. I was reading in the Merc this week about the volunteers who are hoping to catch steelhead trout and chinook salmon in Alameda Creek this winter. They are catching them at the Bart Weir in Fremont, a concrete barrier that the fish cannot get around. So people catch them, tag them and release them upstream where they can spawn. Meanwhile, many government agencies and nonprofits are working on removing or building fish ladders around all the barriers in the creek so that one day the fish can swim freely on their own. Reading that article, it dawned on me that the best metaphor for making disciples in the Bay Area these days is not catching fish but hatching them. We need to think about churches as hatcheries where disciples are raised and then released. We need to consider that we aren’t here to keep them contained in our churches. Instead, one of our biggest jobs is removing the barriers so that these disciples can swim out into the world on their own, into the ocean of God’s love, where they will make a life for themselves by making a difference for others.

Luke 5:1-11