Prayer Journal: week 1, day 2

Today we read Matthew 4: 17-22: “From that time Jesus began to proclaim, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’ As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea–for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.”

So, as the journal (“Unbinding the Gospel”) suggests, I closed my eyes and prayerfully tried to put myself in the story. Imagination is required. (Isn’t it Ignatius that teaches to read scripture this way?) Well, I just couldn’t see myself in one of those fishing boats, too much of a guy thing maybe, so I ended up standing on the beach awhile, watching Jesus yell out to the men. I found myself hoping that he would notice me too. He turns away from the boats coming ashore and starts walking towards me. He stops, looks at me and grins, but doesn’t say anything, just stands there and waits! I pluck up some courage and ask, “Can I come? I could help with things, run errands….” He answers, “Do you like listening to stories? And we are doing a lot of walking. Can you teach us songs we can sing along way?” I’m puzzled; is this a yes or a no? He laughs, “Go find a friend to come with you. We’ll meet under that tree later this morning.” Immediately, I race off ( a younger me is in the story) to find my friend.

The journal asks: What do we need to leave behind to do this? I need to leave behind my anxiety about the future. If I follow this band of disciples, I will have to trust day by day that my needs, the needs of my family, and the needs of the congregation will be provided for.