July Pastor’s Pen—Déjà vu all over again
I believe it was last summer that Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod) retired from baseball. He is now a broadcast analyst for one of the sports networks and, I think, does a good job in his new role. I enjoyed watching Alex when he was with the Mariners, but not so much since he left the team. During the last few years A-Rod has become one of the most polarizing figures in sports. A not-so polarizing Yankee figure from years ago was legend Yogi Berra who was known for his saying like, “It ain’t over till it’s over” and maybe his most famous, “It’s like Déjà vu all over again!”
I wonder if the Disciples felt déjà vu when they saw Jesus standing on the shore in John 21. Perhaps discouraged and distracted by their own actions of deserting Jesus at the time of his greatest need, they had abandoned their calling to follow Jesus and returned to their previous occupation-fishing. But after a unproductive night of fishing, a voice from the shore called out, “cast your net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some” (John 21:6).
When they did, the nets were so full that they couldn’t be dragged in. No doubt their minds raced back to their first encounter with Jesus when he stood on the shore of their careers and, after another miraculous catch of ﬁsh, called them to leave their nets to follow him.
Like the Disciples, we may want to return to our own agendas when we get discouraged, when things don’t go our way, or when there is strife in the church. However, following our own agendas leads to division within the body of Christ and further takes us away from our true mission of sharing the love of God in Christ with others. As we move into the days of Summer, let us continue to encourage one another in our lives of worship, stewardship, and service. By working together, we see that Jesus shows up again on the shore of our lives to extend forgiveness and grace to draw us back to those moments when He first called us. It’s like Déjà vu all over again.
Grace and peace,