To swim in the deep end was always a big deal when I was a child. To swim where your feet couldn’t touch the bottom of the pool required that you not swim alone. But even more so we loved to swim in the ocean- way far out beyond where the waves would break, way deeper than our feet could touch. We weren’t allowed to go out there alone and we couldn’t go that deep without a grownup. “Let’s go out deep!” We would call to my dad asking him to take us to the deep water.
Reading Luke 5:1-11 this week memories of deep water have come back to me. Exciting, frightening, wanting to go out beyond where our feet could touch or we could even swim to the bottom- to the really deep water and yet we were uncertain about it also. Previously I have shared this song by Hillsong. Listening to it this week the lines that strike me are , “Your grace abounds in deepest waters” and “My soul will rest in your embrace”. Part of what I have always loved about being in the water is that it embraces you and can hold you up.
Tears snuck up on me as I was listening to the song. Memories of my childhood at the beach and in our swimming pool brought tears of joy and sorrow. We could spend hours in the water playing games of our own making, waiting for my dad at the beach to come into the ocean so we could go deep. As a child the power of the ocean was both exciting and frightening. Following Jesus is like that also.
This year I have been asking myself, where is Jesus calling me to follow? The word I chose to walk with me in 2019 is faith.
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger In the presence of my Savior
Oceans by Hillsong United
When I first heard this song in El Paso, Texas on our trip to Houston, I was sitting in the worship space for Iglesia Luterana Cristo Rey. The congregation has a meeting room that is similar to a small auditorium. We had just spent the day learning about the issues and concerns of our sisters and brothers who live at the border of the United States and Mexico. In the challenges we had heard, in the the multiple realities, stories and experiences shared, I kept trusting that in all of this my faith would be made stronger, that we could go deeper together, that we all belong to Jesus and he was sent to all of us as Saviour.
Trust without borders- trust in God who will be with us every step of the way. This is the deep end. Deep waters that can seem really scary. In Luke when Jesus calls Simon Peter to put out his nets in the deep water he responds, “Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” A response from his faith in Jesus. I want that to be my response, especially when I am uncertain, ashamed or afraid. If you say so, I will let down the nets.
This week this song and Gospel reading have become my prayers asking for Jesus’ guidance to let go of my fears and my hesitancy in following into the deep end. To step out into the great unknown- that’s faith. It moves, it calls us to action. Will you consider joining me? Will you come into the deep end, where our feet cannot touch? Will you let your soul rest in God’s embrace? Will you join me in the deep waters as we listen together to where Jesus is calling? The grace God abounds in deepest waters, let’s swim there together letting the baptismal waters lead us where Jesus is calling as together we love, serve and grow.