This post is dedicated to my friends who are female pastors in protestant faith communities. More broadly, it is dedicated to all disciples who feel misunderstood.

A lot of us have heard Jesus call out, “Hey! Leave those fishy nets behind and come and follow me! It’s gonna be good!” We awkwardly jump up and walk towards Love with endless confusing questions.

When we are called by God the first thing we can meet on the road of discipleship is judgment and discouragement. People from our pasts sometimes holler down the path at us as we walk away.

That contemporary parable is rooted in the Gospel truth from today’s readings.

As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,
casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
At once they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along from there and saw two other brothers,
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.
He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father
and followed him.
He went around all of Galilee,
teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness among the people.  – Mt 4:18-23

What did James and John’s dad say when they just got up and left?  How did they respond to him?

What do people say to- or about- us?  What gets in our way and makes faithfulness hard?  Why do we all keep going?

  1. “Seminarians are who trekkies call nerds.” “Do you know how to ice fish?” !!!!

    What about the fish?
    I’ve always wondered about how the newly minted disciples leave the fish (in the other version with the miraculous catch) in order to follow Jesus. They are fishermen. They were probably praying to God for fish. But once they fish, instead of staying with this blessing from God they leave the fish to follow Jesus.
    When am I staying with the fish and when I am following the great fisherman? Do I hoard my blessings, my friends, my time or received as gift do I then give freely?

  2. Hey!
    Isn’t it hilarious that I didn’t even “catch” the fishing connection to the scripture and everything I wrote and the video!? I love it when God does stuff like this, it makes it even funnier!

    Your insights are profound too, Sarah. I notice that in my own life of discipleship the feeling that “oh this is what I am living for” “my dreams are true right now- I made it” are fleeting thoughts. I very quickly can begin to think about what I might do next in life. I wonder if that is habit because I am young and seek adventures- I am an experience-junky- or if God is always calling me to go new places, and leave the blessings quickly. I don’t know, but it takes consistent discernment, whew.

  3. Julia,
    I wish I could write something profound, because I was profoundly touched by this video but as soon as I saw on the website that it had been featured at MY seminary it almost made me want to discount the whole thing! There was so much truth in what the man had to say, and the ideals of what the woman expressed and yet I also understand the concern of naivety. If I knew of the Seminary from which she spoke I might have attended it. Instead I went to the seminary where it was pounded into my head all of the reasons why I would fail. I remember my professor quoting scripture about “not wanting to put a stumbling block in front of me,” and then the infamous “but.” I’ll think I’m over the hurt of it all, but then I simply have to hear the name of my school and I’m reminded of the pain. I think female pastors have THE hardest professional experience for women in the world. I think it’s harder for us than lawyers, doctors, professors, politicians, etc. The only job I think that is more discriminatory is football… because well, women aren’t allowed to even play professional football.

    Thanks for posting!
    Yer friend and peaches,

    1. Sara, I was just thinking about all this again… How can we convert sexism within our Churches? What will it take for us to really be trained as ministers and then be accepted by our communities. Is it about formation and education for us, the ministers, or do we transform the systems we work within? I have no idea, but it seems like it’s certainly about trusting God and praying a lot.