Cathedral News, January 21, 2018


One of the most moving sermons I ever heard about the call of the first disciples (who were fishermen, as many Floridians love to point out) was about the way people back then fished. They fished with nets. So the image here of Jesus telling them that they will fish for people is not a kind of fishing based on bait and manipulation of the line and converting people against their will. It is one of gathering people together like fish in a net.

That is the image I would like for us to take out into the world this week. The Book of Common Prayer describes our call as baptized Christians in the following way: We are to reconcile the world to God and people to one another. We are to be what draws people together, like that net that Jesus talks about, rather than what divides people.

In the coming year we will ask you to be involved in the process of calling our next permanent Dean. Father Webster will work alongside us in the process to provide us with tools and leadership where we need it, but the burden of answering that call of Jesus to be agents of reconciliation is up to you. What is it that draws us together? How can we better answer the call to be agents of peace and reconciliation as a congregation called to remain downtown among the many challenges that entails? More pointedly, how can you answer that call in your own life?

I realize that now isn’t exactly an easy time to be spreading news of reconciliation and peace. It is hard work right now to engage in civil discourse with so many important issues dividing us. Unfortunately, this is the call we have been given. Fortunately, we are not called to do it alone. Jesus disciples enjoyed a rich ministry in which Jesus himself was present with them in times of trouble. This remains true today, even 2000 years later.

I commend to you the hard work of reconciliation and peace making. May God bless all of us in the coming year.

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