God’s Abundant Grace
By Jim Poirier of The Blue Mountains, Ontario, Canada
When he 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. —Luke 5: 4–11 NRSV
The fishermen’s nets were filled to capacity, even to the point of overflowing and invited their friends to share in the bounty of the catch. They quickly dropped what they were doing and followed Jesus. As his disciples they often experienced unexpected moments of such abundant grace.
A group of ministers from Canada gathered on a Saturday in December for an experience of mission at the Temple in Independence, Missouri. The group followed the Worshiper’s Path into the Temple Sanctuary to participate in the Daily Prayer for Peace. Since it was the weekend, few were in attendance that day. This group found themselves in the majority.
About an hour earlier, a couple arrived at the Temple from a nearby community. One was mourning the loss of her mother the previous day. She thought it would a wonderful tribute to her mother if she and her husband visited the Temple, offered prayers, and attended the Prayer for Peace.
This place was very special to her and to her mother. Knowing that attendance might be low, the guide, who was also the presider that day, asked her and her husband to read the Prayer for Peace with him from the rostrum. As they approached the rostrum there were more in attendance than the guide anticipated. To his surprise he noticed the delegation from Canada in the Sanctuary awaiting the chimes that would begin the ceremony. There he was, a man from Australia joined by a group of Canadians worshipping together as they blessed these two from the USA in their time of grief.
As he offered the opening prayer he was moved to tears. Just as Jesus “surprised” his would-be followers with grace and mercy in abundance, this day people who had never met gathered in his name and were blessed. Grace and mercy in abundance filled the hearts of disciples. And once again, like the early disciples, the nets of everyone were filled to capacity, even to the point of overflowing.
May I see your light in all life.
Invitation to Spiritual Practice
Light of God
Close your eyes, and become centered with your breath. As you breathe gently in and out, reflect on the statement, “The light of God is in all things.” The light has a bright, soft beauty and radiates God’s healing love. The light of God reaches you and permeates you with a deep sense of peace. Rest in the light as it surrounds and fills you. Thank God that you live in God’s light, and it lives in you.