October 21, 2012
Written by Daniel Hazard

Luke 5:4

"When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, 'Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.'"

Reflection by Anthony B. Robinson

There's something haunting and powerful about Jesus' words to Simon Peter, "Put out into the deep water."

Simon and his friends had been fishing all night. They were bushed. Worse, they had nothing to show for it. At least no fish. Only aching muscles and weary bones.

Here's what Jesus did not say. He did not suggest Peter needed to take better care of himself or find more balance in his life. He did not suggest to Peter and the others that they needed to take some time for themselves. He said, "Put out into deep water."

Go deeper.

It's so easy to stay on the surface, to get by, to pretend, to play it safe. Safe but tiring.

"Put out into deep water."

Sometimes it is the ache of emptiness that causes us to go deeper. Sometimes it's a command we don't fully understand but that takes hold of us and won't let go. Sometimes it is death that impinges upon us, and sometimes it is life.

Church, put out into deep water.

Preachers, put out into deep water.

Christians, put out into deep water . . . and trusting in Christ's word, let down your nets for a catch.


Take us, Holy One, from the slick, safe surface to your scary, startling and saving depths. Amen.

About the Author
Anthony B. Robinson, a United Church of Christ minister, is a speaker, teacher and writer. His newest book is Called to Lead: Paul's Letters to Timothy for a New Day, and he is also the author of the just-published Book of Exodus: A God is still speaking Bible Study. Read his weekly reflections on the current lectionary texts at by clicking on Weekly Reading.

Click to pre-order Hark! Advent Devotionals 2012 from the Stillspeaking Writers' Group.

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