In the Gospel of Luke we hear the calling of the first disciples of Christ while they were “off duty” from their day of fishing. Jesus “saw two boats standing by the lake, but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets.” (Luke 5.2) Their day was finished and I’m sure the fishermen were looking forward to a few moments of rest after a long day at work, but the Lord had other plans. “Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.” (Luke 5.2-3)
Simon was faced with a common struggle we all face today; whether or not to give our time to the work of God and His Church or rest a bit. The need for rest is the single most common reason people miss Church on Sunday morning. I can’t imagine anyone would have given it a second thought if Simon had said, “Excuse me please, but I just returned from a long time of fishing and we have to fix our nets and get some rest before we go out again. Can you use someone else’s boat?”
In the context of hearing the Gospel this excuse sounds ridiculous but we use it every time we don’t come to Church or refuse to assist the Lord in getting His message to the world. If Simon had said “no,” then the multitudes would not have heard the Gospel from Christ. And if we say “no,” many more will go without hearing the Good News that Jesus Christ has to offer the world.
When Simon allowed God to use him and his boat for the Gospel, many wonderful things took place. “They caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.” (Luke 5.6) When we allow Jesus Christ and His Church to use our talents and our gifts for His purpose of reaching out to the thousands needing the sort of hope that only God provides, great things will happen also in our lives.
There are many ways we can help the Lord and His Church. We can serve as youth ministry volunteers. We can offer our talents by making basic repairs to our buildings. Even changing light bulbs and air condition filters helps Christ and His Church. You might be thinking that changing light bulbs doesn’t help people hear the Gospel of Christ, but you would be wrong.
Everything the Church does, from routine maintenance to catechism classes helps to bring the Gospel to the world. You wouldn’t think Christ needed a boat to spread the Gospel. The Church needs light bulbs to teach. The Church needs AC to have ministries, especially in Florida. Whether it is volunteering or offering financial assistance so the Church can hire professionals, it is all Stewardship. Stewardship is how we help God and His Church.
How will YOU help the Lord get His message out this week?