Mark 1:17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” (NIV)
For the first nine years of my ministry, I was privileged to serve in a Scottish fishing village called Dunure. It was situated on the West coast of Scotland, overlooking the Firth of Clyde, which is the waterway to the Irish Sea. It’s a picturesque village with an old ruined castle that once owned by the powerful Kennedy clan. Quite recently, Season 3 of the popular Outlander television series has just been filmed down at Dunure harbor.
The fishermen and their families taught me a lot about faith and ministry. They were very supportive but were also willing to let me know when I made mistakes. Their hard work and determination gave me many insights into courage and endurance; their faith and family ties helped me to understand the strength of being a community in both good and adverse times.
When Jesus called the fishermen to be His first disciples, I think He knew that their tenacity and loyalty, as well as their candid and honest outlook on life, would bless His ministry and continue His mission long after He was gone. Christ may have given them a new calling to find, fish, and gather people to God’s Kingdom, but their own skills and determination would ensure the future successes of the Christian faith. In fact, we are indebted to those Galilean fishermen for the faith we embrace today, just as I am indebted to the Dunure fisher-folk for teaching me many lessons about life and ministry which I still practice years later.
Point to ponder
Who taught me about the Christian faith? What lessons of theirs do I still practice today?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank You for the calling of the disciples and especially the fisher-folk who supported and encouraged You throughout Your ministry. We also praise You for the success of their mission to the larger world and the blessings of faith that are now ours today. Grant us opportunities to share our Christian beliefs with other people in our own lives. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
Today’s image is one of John’s crayon drawings of Dunure. If you would like to view a larger version, please click this link: Dunure.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. The church website can be read at this link: www.erinpresbyterian.org.