When [Jesus] had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch." Simon answered, "Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets." When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink.
But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!" For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people." When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.
It's mid-January and time to check in. Have you made any resolutions? Are they going well? Are the same ones as always? Did you skip making any? I'm hoping, that like me, you're resolved in this new year to grow deeper in your faith. Maybe you took on resolutions about coming to church more, bringing your kids more, volunteering with the youth group, going on the Dominican Republic trip, or joining a small group. If you did, great, and if not, maybe start there. Either way, I'd like to make a suggestion.
Go deeper. Jesus suggested the disciples needed to go deeper. Deeper waters can be more work, but also more rewarding. It was a metaphor for the work ahead, to which Jesus was calling them. Back when I lived in Colorado, I joined a gym. It was walking distance from my house and shared a parking lot with the Chipotle, so I knew I could make myself go, and the membership fee was super low. In addition, they had advertised a free 30-minute session with a trainer for signing up. I knew that if I worked even once with a trainer, they could set me up with a good workout plan to target my goals and make my time in the gym more effective. Even a short time with an expert is valuable. Sure enough, Ivan put me through a killer workout. I could barely move for three days after, but what I learned made every following workout far more effective than anything I'd done for years before that.
So, go deeper. Are you in a small group? Choose a challenging book to tackle. Take notes. Do you come to worship regularly (or plan to)? Is it hard to focus on scripture and preaching because you're worried about the week? Take notes, maybe knit or doodle. Afterwards, go to lunch with the family or your friends and discuss the text, the sermon. Go deeper. Do you drop your kids off for Sunday school or Youth Group? Ask what we need you to do. Join a Sunday school. Stay and help with youth group. When you go home, ask your kids about the lesson. We need you. Go deeper. Do you give money to the mission trips or pray for the teams? Go on a mission trip or offer to be a baby or pet sitter for someone going; write prayer cards. Go deeper. This year, make goals of your attendance and participation in your faith, but go deeper. And if you need a little encouragement from one of us trainers, our time is yours, a lot more than 30 minutes. Let's grab coffee or a bite, and let's go deeper.