Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Gone Fishing (02/01/07)
TITLE: The Holy Stranger
By Carolyn Kenney
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Have you ever visited the Sea of Galilee? In a few short weeks, I will be blessed to stand there for the first time! Just over 2000 years ago, two brothers, Peter and Andrew, had a prosperous fishing business at this location. They were hard-working men as well as devoted husbands and fathers. Since early childhood, the two brothers worked diligently day and night to provide for their families.
One bright summer afternoon, Andrew and his brother, Peter, looked out calmly over the serene waters of the Sea of Galilee as their boat neared shore. They lived not fat away with their wives and children. Years before, their father had taught them the intricacies of fishing - what bait to use and the best spots to fish. Most importantly, he taught them to never give up and to stay determined that their catch would be plentiful.
This particular day, Andrew suddenly noticed a tall man walking along the shore. Andrew had seen the man a few days before; he now stopped to watch the holy stranger walk along the water’s edge. Andrew thought to himself, what is he doing? The stranger was gazing intently at the various fishing boats, seeming to look for someone in particular. His eyes moved slowly from boat to boat before finally noticing the long and sleek boat belonging to Andrew and Peter. He smiled, having found two of the men he was eagerly looking for. Andrew noticed a look radiating from his eyes. The stranger seemed to look both into the past and into the future as he stood at the edge of the lapping shoreline, now not too far from their boat. Andrew found himself smiling back; he looked over at Peter who was busy carefully putting the nets away. The day had been long. Both men were tired and ready for a good home-cooked meal.
Peter had not noticed the stranger and did not look up from his work as he said to Andrew, “We have been blessed today with a plentiful catch. Yahweh is smiling upon us.” When Andrew made no reply, Peter looked up and seeing a strange look in his brothers eyes said, “Andrew, what is it? What are you looking at?” Peter turned slowly towards the shore and saw a man standing not too far away. Peter wondered to himself, who is he? I have never seen him before, but there is something familiar about him. The stranger slowly turned and looked at Peter saying, ‘Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.’
Peter stood without moving. He felt like a rock, unable to either move or breath. His heart was pounding in his chest as he thought, Fishers of men! What does he mean?
Andrew said softly, yet excitedly, “This is the man I was telling you about earlier today. People say He is the Messiah! We must follow Him!”
Peter said to his brother, “What is his name?”
Andrew answered, “Jesus. Jesus of Nazareth.”
Without saying a word, Peter left the boat and walked with silent conviction in the direction of Jesus.
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