Our Gospel lesson for this week is Mark 1: 14-20, which is Mark’s account of the calling of the first disciples. Jesus begins the process of “Building the Team” of those who will serve as his closest disciples. You remember the story: Jesus calls fishermen from their nets by the Sea of Galilee, telling them that from that time forward they be “fishing” for men and women who will join them in following Jesus. Scholar Bonnie Thurston in her book “The Spiritual Landscape of Mark” believes that it’s no accident that this all took place by the Sea of Galilee. She writes,
“The ancient Hebrews were shepherds and city dwellers, no sailors/explorers like the Phoenicians. For the Hebrews, the sea is an image of chaos…..everything comes from the sea and everything returns to it. It is an image of transformation and rebirth and the transitory condition of life. The presence of a lake or a sea in the life of Jesus is a reminder that life is, like the sea, constantly in flux.” She goes on to say that Mark uses the image of traveling upon the sea as a transitional device in his narrative. She concludes, “What this suggests is that the sea is also an image of transition, of moving from place to place…..I am much moved by the idea that Jesus and the disciples had many transitions to undergo.. . .they are ‘on the way times’, times when we are moving to a new place, and new places are always, in part, places of promise.”
Within BPC’s life, the most obvious transition is the interim time between pastors. But other transitions are happening all the time. Last week the congregation elected new Elders, Deacons and Trustees and thanked the officers whose terms are ending for their service to the church.