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Lenten Reflection: Feb. 23

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Today’s texts: Genesis 37:12-24; 1 Corinthians 1:20-31; Mark 1:14-28

Mark 1: 14-28

I first studied this passage as a college freshman in a weekly study on the gospel of Mark.  Jesus’ words to the disciples “Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men” made my heart leap with anticipation. What exciting adventure did Jesus have in store for the disciples? What radical life where they going to live? I wasn’t exactly sure what it meant to be a fisher of men, but whatever it was, I wanted to be one! I wanted to see and experience the stories of the gospel for myself –the sick healed, miracles, people leaving darkness and coming into the light. These scripture words were truly good news! The kingdom of God had come near to me! My heart rejoiced. I was falling in love with the gospel story and ran hard after Jesus’ radical invitation.  I couldn’t wait to see how the future unfolded.

It’s been 17 years since that bible study. Since then, I have experienced firsthand the good news of the kingdom –miracles, the love of God, and the transforming power of the gospel in peoples’ lives.  But now, a different part of the passage stands out to me.  The nets, which represented the security, stability, and identity that the fishermen had to leave behind, remind me so clearly about my own life. As I become more of an adult, I find myself wanting to secure my own “nets” – my career and identity. Isn’t it after all, the responsible thing to do for an adult? The zeal of my youth was great, but isn’t it time to grow up and get a real career?

But, this passage reminds me once again that Jesus’ promise for his followers is not that they will become career minded, financially stable adults, but rather  fishers of men –people that trust in their identity as His disciples by following Jesus first and choosing to be pliable to His leadership. In this Lenten season, my heart rejoices once again that the kingdom of God has come near, and for the invitation from the radical Messiah to follow him.

Asifa Dean has worked as a campus staff and team leader for Intervarsity Christian Fellowship for the last 10 years.  She is also a contributing author to IVP’s More Than Serving Tea: Asian American Women on Expectations, Relationships, Leadership And Faith.

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