And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” (Mark 1:17)
When Jesus began his ministry, one of the first things he did was gather some companions. It was an essential part of his work to not work alone, but to include other people with him. To be honest, he didn’t seem to be too picky about who worked with him. He saw some people working on the docks and invited them to follow. They dropped their nets and came with him. Eventually, in addition to fishermen, he would collect tax collectors, zealots, and a hodgepodge of people. The men and women who entered Jesus’ inside circle were just a mix of regular people.
Today, unlike some places in our world, the church does the same thing. In a world where reality TV often disposes of people, all are welcome in the church and all are invited to follow Jesus and join in the work of inviting others to follow him too. No matter what ethnic and racial background we bring or whether we are young or old, rich or poor, gay or straight – the God we meet in Jesus loves us, call us to follow, and sends us out to “fish for people.”
Each of us has a faith story that includes other people sharing Jesus with us. Each of us belong to a faith community that has a shared story of how we work together to continue the work of Jesus in our time and help one another grow in our walk with Christ. And each of us have the ability to use the strength we gain from those parts of our life to invite others to join with us in following Jesus.
Who do you know who would be blessed by being invited into the life in Christ that you have? Just as Jesus gathered people in the first century to go out and invite others to join with Jesus, the risen Christ calls each of us to invite the people in our time to join in as well. You have the message that brings life to others. Who can you share it with?