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From the Pastor’s Desk 2/6/2022

Have you ever worked hard for something and then finally achieved it? Maybe it was a position at work, or a grade on an exam. Maybe it was a new house or a new car. We feel good about that accomplishment, and we’re right to feel that way. But what if God asked us to give that up for something better? Imagine Simon Peter in the gospel we just read. He was a fisherman, and his boat would have meant everything to him. Even though he got skunked the night before he must have been good at what he did. The gospel tells us that the boat belonged to him, so he was successful enough to buy his own boat. That boat represented security. That boat represented his livelihood. Every time Simon Peter looked at that boat, his heart must have swelled with contentment. And then something changes. Jesus enters his life and invites him to leave it all behind and follow him. The boat can’t come with him. This was a crucial moment for Simon Peter. He had seen the miraculous catch of fish. He had experienced the presence of Jesus. This was someone unlike anyone he had ever met. He’s so moved that he falls to his knees and tells Jesus: “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man.” But Jesus doesn’t leave. He does something much more beautiful and much more challenging. He invites Simon Peter to leave everything behind and follow him. He’s inviting Simon to share his own life. He’s asking him: “Are you willing to leave everything behind for me? I promise you that you will experience a happiness you can’t imagine. Will you take the risk?” And Simon Peter says “Yes.” He and his fishing buddies leave everything behind and follow Jesus. They recognized that they were leaving their boats, but they had found Jesus. So, Simon Peter teaches us a great lesson today: When we leave everything for Jesus, we find even more. We may lose something of our personal security, we may feel like we’re losing control, but it’s worth it. Because when we leave everything and follow Jesus, we find so much more. Our hearts are set free, and Christ becomes our life.