Thursday 16th August
Get away from me Lord! - Luke 5:8-11
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, 'Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!' For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon's partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, 'Donít be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.' So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

Like Isaiah before him, Peter's initial reaction to a sense of God's presence is to become aware of his own unworthiness. And the response made by Jesus echoes the actions of the Seraphim in Isaiah's temple - it is to recognise the potential within Peter and commission him to become part of God's salvation story.

Yet there is also an interesting contrast between these two episodes. Isaiah was part of a gathering in the temple, surrounded by the trappings of worship - the place that people might expect an encounter with God. But is was on a fishing wharf, surrounded by used nets and a landed cargo that Peter discovered the presence of God in Jesus. Advent is that season when we recognise that God can break into the everyday and mundane, can inhabit the most ordinary of circumstances and bring salvation in the midst of this world's realities.

Peter's recognition of his own unworthiness is not misplaced, but our shortcomings are not a reason to shun God's presence, but to embrace the grace and forgiveness that he offers. Faced with the challenges and opportunities of our salvation message, it is all too easy to imagine ourselves unworthy of God's call - but this is not the message that Jesus brought into our world.

It was through everyday people, engaged in everyday circumstances, that God's message was made known. God's call and commission remains one that rests on those who struggle with all the hopes and struggles of real life. We have a message that transcends the weaknesses of any who are called to bear it.

God who in Jesus embraced every reality of life - make me ready to seek, encounter and serve you whatever the circumstances in which I find myself - AMEN

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