Ventures Bold and New
After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way… He said to him, “Follow me.” John 21:1, 19b
In the resurrection accounts of Matthew and Mark, the angel tells the women that Jesus would be going ahead of them and the disciples would see Him in Galilee. In John’s post-resurrection account, we find the disciples heeding the Lord’s command, but also returning to what was safe and familiar – the Sea of Tiberias. There Peter and Andrew, James and John had made their trade. Now, Peter leads a group to return to the boat and let down their nets.
The same Savior, who had called Peter to leave behind his nets to follow Him, restores Him to serve and follow Him. Peter is once again led away from this place of security in an uncertain world to be led even to places he will not want to go. But this brash and yet weak servant of Christ will still be sent by Christ to feed and tend His sheep. Peter and the rest would be sent by Jesus from the safe confides of the Sea of Tiberias out into an unfamiliar world, with only the call to follow Jesus wherever He leads.
During World War 2 in England, the most ominous sound that could reach one’s ears was that of the Air Raid sirens. For a nine-month period during 1940-41, the Germans attacked the British with nightly air raids. The sound would start softly but would continue until it reached a spine-tingling trumpet sound. The constant threat of the sirens led to a dread among the British as the sun would set over those months. It was during this time that Rev. Eric Millner-White was serving as the Dean of the famed King’s College at Cambridge. During 1941, understanding the fear that gripped the people, he wrote a prayer befitting the people’s uncertainty and included below.
Lutheran pastor and hymnwriter Herman Stuempfle captured much of the sentiment of this prayer in the hymn “O Christ, Who Called the Twelve.”
O Christ, who called the Twelve
To rise and follow You.
Forsaking old, familiar ways
For ventures bold and new;
Grant us to hear Your call
To risk security
And bound in heart and will to You
Find perfect liberty
O Christ, who sent the Twelve
On roads they’d never trod
To serve, to suffer, teach, proclaim
The nearer reign of God,
Send us on ways where faith
Where love informs and hope sustains
Both life and ministry.
(Lutheran Service Book 856, v. 1, 4)
We pray that the Lord would lead us, even when it means leaving behind those safe and familiar places to proclaim Christ in “ventures bold and new.” That prayer is always that God would give to us courage to trust His guidance where He may lead.
Prayer - "Lord God, You have called Your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that Your hand is leading us and Your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan