Acts 5:27-32, 40b-41
My housemate and I have two wonderful dogs, they have all kinds of good habits and a few irritating habits. They are not so different than many of us humans. One of the games that they seem to like to play we have dubbed as “Innie Outtie.”
They come up to one of us, put their noses in our three feet of personal space until we get up from whatever we are doing and let them outside. “Oh we think, this is what they wanted…they need to go outside.” Moments later they are at the door again making it clear that they want to come in. So one of us goes to the door and lets them in. This pattern repeats itself several times in a day. Eventually the dogs get tired and settle into a place that meets their desires. We two legged aren’t quite sure what that is, however we are glad to move from the game, Innie/Outtie.
I was thinking about the gospel story for April 22nd. In this story the disciples have been out all night fishing without any success. I would imagine that they tried all sides of the boat hoping that they would throw their nets in the right direction at some point. Their efforts to put the net in the right place seems a little bit like our game of Innie/Outtie with the dogs, Hannah and Emmie, hard to know exactly what to do.
As they headed back to shore after this night with no success, a stranger directs them to put their net back in one more time and they do just that, despite their night! And to their amazement they caught so many fish that they were not able to pull it in! It is at this point that they recognize the stranger as the Risen Christ and they hurry into the shore. There Jesus waits for them that they might have breakfast.
I have days where my interactions at work feel like Innie/Outtie, where I have tried a number of different approaches to work challenges and none seem to be working. It is often on those days that someone calls me out of the blue or comes up to me at work to see how I am doing. This simple gesture shifts my empty net and often helps me see what I need to do.
I think the gospel of April 22nd is full of messages. However, today I would like to lean into the message of how all of us are invited to be the light of the Risen Christ to and for each other. Some days we may be called to invite someone to shift the location of their nets and on other days we may be invited to give someone hope, who has had an Innie/Outtie kind of day.