Audio is here.
Reveille United Methodist Church
21st Sunday After Pentecost – October 14, 2018
Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.
It is said that from time-to-time, it is good for clergy in congregations like ours to share the story of our respective calls to ordained ministry, so I would like to share mine.
I was born here in Richmond at the very end of 1970, and when I arrived in this world, I was uniquely surrounded by the warm glow of bright, heavenly light. In the delivery room, the doctors and nurses remarked how beautiful I was, almost as beautiful as the sound of angelic harps being plucked above me by the heavenly host.
Ten months later, I was baptized in a small congregation, where the pastor ascended to the top of a high mountain and presented me to God, like Simba in The Lion King, and everyone in the congregation remarked how it was at that exact moment that they knew for certain that I was destined for service in Christ’s church, even before they heard the voice from heaven proclaim “This is my Doug, the beloved, with whom I am well-pleased.”