Daily Devotional for January 10
January 10 Mark 1:14-28
For several summers I worked at a mission church on North
Carolina's Outer Banks. One year I met a Jesuit priest there
who gave me a book of his poetry called Psalms of the Still
Country. In one poem, "The Successful Catch," there is this
question: "Why did I leave the security of the sea for you?
Why does the line of your face excite the rattle of life in me?"
Mark's account of how Jesus called his early followers is not
as simple as it might appear. Bible scholars think that Jesus
and some of his disciples were originally members of John's
movement. It is very likely that group tensions were generated
by Jesus when he began to announce the imminence of the
reign of God and members were faced with the choice of
remaining with the "Baptist movement" or joining the new
In our own lives there are moments when we wonder if we
really want to make a choice, times when we feel it might be
better to simply stay where we are. Jesus did not call all those
he met to leave their work and homes and families and follow
him; some were left to continue their daily lives. To "fish"
for people in the name of God is no easy task!
Although discipleship requires choices at points along the way,
perhaps it requires even more a steady gaze in prayer "on the
line of [Jesus'] face," in order to know where God is calling
us. What to do will be shown us; and not always knowing
exactly is all right, too.
My friend's poem ends this way:
I clearly do not know
what I want to do
but as clearly now I know
what I do not want to do
and that is
to remain here
outside the shadow of your net
untouched by you. ¹
¹ From Psalms of the Still Country by Ed Inglebretson, © 1982, Resource Publica-
tions, Inc., 160 E. Virginia St., #290, San Jose, CA 95112.
From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle
Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.