Gone Fishing

gone-fishingWhen we lived in Wyoming my wife was recruited to help get a new team member settled into an apartment. Her first order of business was to secure a U-Haul truck. But when she stopped by the local U-Haul store to pick one up, she found a sign on the door that read. “CLOSED TODAY. GONE HUNTING.”

We realized then and there that priorities are different in Wyoming. It sure didn’t fit our agendas but it gave us pause to ask, “Is that such a bad thing?”

We say a Christian is someone who believes in Jesus. But what does that mean exactly? Does it simply mean consenting intellectually to the notion that Jesus is the Son of God? Or does it mean something more? In the New Testament a Christian was first referred to those who followed Christ and his teachings. They were identifiable apart from the rest of the world. The Bible teaches that the reason for this is because they have become citizens of a new kingdom. They have become citizens of the Kingdom of God through their faith in Christ. Paul calls Christians to “Join with others in following my example…and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven.” (Phil 3:17-20) In other words, Paul paints a picture that priorities and life look distinctly different for the church.

As a church, therefore, our priorities ought to look different from those of the world. Some of the things we encourage may seem a bit different. I want to write about one in particular. Each Wednesday we seek to work together as a congregation to instill in our children an understanding of the truths found in Scripture by working in various ways on the catechism. That itself is strange to our culture. But that’s not all CSCK has in mind. In addition to teaching, we want to encourage community. That happens as we engage in “Kingdom Telling” activities and in feasting together. But perhaps the strangest thing of all we do is what happens on the fourth Sunday. We call that “Kingdom Action” or “Go” night. On that night we don’t meet together at all. Instead, we want to teach our children that God calls us to extend His grace to others. He calls us to go into the world and make disciples, to love our neighbors as the good Samaritan loved the injured man on the road, and to seek the peace and prosperity of the city in which we dwell. While it may seem like a night off, it is perhaps the most difficult of the 4 nights because it means getting out and meeting our neighbors, initiating conversation with others, and going out of our way to help the community. In essence, we want to close down the shop (i.e. our “to do” lists) and hang up the sign, “GONE FISHING.” Going is another way of living out what it means to be a “fisher of men.”

Do you take time to go fishing? Do you include your children or friends in that activity? It’s difficult. It communicates a different set of priorities. Is that such a bad thing?

Gone fishing,
Carter

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