Do any of you remember a television character who always turned up when somebody was in the middle of a job and said “You don’t want to do it like that, do it like this.”? I particularly remember the character because I knew somebody just like him.
He would come around, perhaps when I had some music playing, and suddenly make a sucking sound with his teeth or whatever else was in use, and then inform me there was something wrong with the cassette player (this is pre CD or streaming of course) which used to drive me crazy; because he did it all the time about everything.
So how do you think Simon Peter, a professional fisherman, felt when, having spent the whole night fishing and catchingnothing, Jesus, a carpenter, turned up and told him to relaunch his boat into deeper water and cast his net on the opposite side of the boat to where he had been casting earlier?
This was the question posed by Helena in her aptly entitled sermon Relaunch 2020, as she encouraged us to look ahead into the new year with a positive attitude and a sense of anticipation.
Drawing on the encounter between Jesus and the fishermen in Luke 5 vs 1-7, she considered the frustration and disappointment Peter might have felt due to lack of success. This was how he made his living and empty nets could have dire consequences for his family.
But there are no failures in God, she pointed out, and maybe we are looking back at 2019, disappointed that things we had planned had not worked out.
A sense of failure as Peter probably felt can hit us too, even those of us who know Jesus as Saviour. But God doesn’t want us to fail and doesn’t plan for us to do so. In fact, it is often when we are at our lowest ebb that He steps in with a work for us to do. He did so with Peter. He wanted the use of his boat, which He was planning to use to speak to the crowds on the shore.
Peter agreed and at that moment his defeat turned to success. Maybe some of us who have been disappointed are feeling a failure in 2020 already.
“One of the first steps to come out of defeat is to connect to the bigger picture,” Helena says. “We need to connect to His purpose, which is the Kingdom.” We will not succeed in anything we do unless we are connected to His purpose.
When Jesus told Peter to Relaunch his boat and go further out than before, Peter’s attitude could well have been to think, “we have been trying all night so what makes You, a carpenter, think that doing it again will make it different.”
But he didn’t. His response was “On Your Word, we will do it.”
That is a key for us. Timing is crucial in God’s purpose and to act when He tells us to, turns failure into success.
2020 may be the time for you to Relaunch – your dreams, your passions, things you have never put into practice.
But don’t settle where you are.
God may be saying “It’s time to try again.” You may need to do it differently but push out into deeper waters. Too often we wait for God to do it for us but when we hear His voice it’s time for us to take action – to get some momentum and move on. “We were never made to tread water.”
2020 is time to Relaunch, as individuals and as a Church; when Peter and the other disciples did so, the catch was overwhelming, and they needed help to land it.
Helena called on the entrepreneurs in the Church to relaunch their visions, for all of us to get an increase in faith and to see the work of COM Church in Dunstable becoming more and more successful as we move ON HIS WORD.
You can listen in full to Helena’s message at www.comchurch.org.uk SERMONS Relaunch 2020
February 19, 2020
January 29, 2020
December 16, 2018