"Through the generations" Sermon / Luke 5:1-11 / Pr. Lucas Albrecht / Sunday February 10th 2019: Season of Epiphany / Mount Olive Lutheran Church
Text: Luke 5:1-11
Theme: “Through the generations”
Intr – Four years ago Djenane and I attended a wedding ceremony held by one of the beautiful beaches in Recife, one of the Northeastern State capitals in Brazil. The groom was a friend from down south, and the bride was from the area. She happened to be a daughter of a lady from the Alburquerques, a long standing Lutheran family in the.
Why I am sharing this fact with you today?
Because as I sat down to talk with the family we discovered that the great-grandmother of the bride was the first in the family to enter the Lutheran Church in that area. That happened when she tuned in to a local radio station that was airing a fairly brand new program called “A Hora Luterana”, “The Lutheran Hour”, She never heard anything about the Lutheran Church, or even about Jesus Christ. She started listening to the messages of that pastor about the love of God, and became a captive listener. One day she learned that a Lutheran Pastor would be in the city. And then she decided to get to know the Church more closely.
Now, that radio host was Pastor Rodolpho Hasse, the first speaker of the Lutheran Hour in Brazil(year of 1947). He happens to be my great-grandfather. So because the Church, through Him, carried on the mission of “Catching men” to the kingdom, as well as Mrs. Albuqueruque’s family passed down to new generations the message of God’s love and the importance of the Church, now more than half a century later myself, one of Rev. Hasse’s descendants, was able to sit down for a beer and a wedding party with descendants of Mrs. Albuquerque in Recife.
Half a century later. Now what about 20 centuries?
That’s how long this “catching people” thing has been carried out. We see in the Gospel today how did it all begin.
_Jesus is by the lake. He is teaching people. Why are they there for? Material interest, Spiritual interest, Daily life interest? Could be any of them. Or even none. Anyways, they wanted to hear Jesus’ teachings.
_All of a sudden, he turns to Peter and commands what would be a wonderful fishing. Isn’t that amazing how Jesus goes from teaching to performing a miracle just like that? Isn’t amazing to notice that as we go, as we learn about God’s love, He is still doing wonders in our life, just like that?
--Jesus calls his disciples to catch men. What is this that His disciples jumped in for fishing wholeheartedly?
_The easy answer would be: miracles like the one they just witnessed. How could you see something like that and just don’t follow that Master and do everything for Him?
_We could object to that by mentioning that many other people saw signs just like this one performed by Jesus. Still, many were close to him only for personal interest. Many walked away from him. And some of them, especially the leaders, wanted not to catch men, but to make Jesus catch fire - to kill Him.
_The reason is shown by Jesus’ action toward Peter (and the others). Peter recognized Him as Holy. Peter asked Him to stay away from him, a sinner. But Jesus didn’t. He came exactly for that. To bridge the gap between the Holy One and sinners, to reconnect Creator and creatures. He came to bring the miracle of salvation to the lives of many; to save the entire world.
This is the very reason that made the disciples to take on the challenge, the mission, the opportunity. This is the reason you and I still have to do the same. It is not only because we need more members, or because we need a place to be, or just because having a Church is a part of life. It is the miracle of salvation applied to us by faith. This is reason. This is the motivation. This is what makes Christians put even their life at stake when it comes to Believe, Teach and Confess.
_Peter hears Jesus Word. He doesn’t know yet how it would be accomplished. But He trusted it would.
You hear Jesus’ voice from the Bible, here at Church, in the Sacraments. You don’t the way many of the things happen, you can’t see ahead, you have no means to proof, humanly speaking, that His Word is True. Still, you throw the nets. Still, you carry on with your family, your life, your spiritual life. Because you know the ONE whose words you are following.
_Trusting in God sometimes is not knowing the path ahead, but trusting firmly who is Him that knows your steps.
_Trusting in God is less about how much you can hold your clasp o God’s hands, and more about Grace holding you even when your grip is gone.
_God is Holy, but, His MERCY is endless. He could smash you in a second because of your sins. He chose to make you live forever though, because of His Mercy. In Christ.
Thanks be to God for all the faithful pastors, leaders, missionaries, Christians who never gave up along the way. They used spoken words, bells, pictures, liturgy, writings, sounds, videos, all that was at hand to convey the message that caught many people into the Kingdom of God.
From God’s perspective, we know that His Church will never end. He will always find a way, a person, a means to make it go on until Judgment Day Comes. But from our human, organizational perspective, our congregation is always one generation away of being extinct. The Gospel will go on. But it would be sad to be a congregation closing down, having so many opportunities to share the Gospel. You and I. We may not be radio speakers, TV presenters. We may not be able to speak or write well. But we have everything we need to catch men: faith, God’s Word, our life witness, family and friends to witness to.
Cc – Half a century ago, a family was touched by the Gospel, and the generations have been preserved in the Church since then. This same story was and is repeated over and over again, in different countries, in the four corners of the Earth. This is the Holy Spirit’s work through us. We are instruments in His hands. Jesus will still bring his teaching. Will still bring His wonders, will still save. He will continue to bring many, many people to the wedding feast of the Lamb, in Heaven. Forever.
_Nestle Aland, The New Testament Greek Ed 28
_THe LUtheran Study Bible
 _Peter realizes he is before holy One, Jesus. How would you feel if you spilled something in your shirt during a formal event? Now think about being in front of the Most Holy?
 Rev. Tardelli Voss, https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10216361065632886&set=a.1805673135243&type=3&theater
 _Would you accept a friend’s invitation to go fishing? I’m sure most of us would. Would we accept it if he said the fishing could last at least 6 months? Most of us won’t. Jesus invited the Church to go fishing 2,000 years ago. Many dropped out, gave up didn’t join the Master, But he provided along the centuries faithful fishermen and fisherwomen who never gave up even in the harshest weather or in the darkest hours.