growing up my dad, brother and i would occasionally pack up a cooler of belly washers (soft drinks in glass bottles) top of em off with some ice and then pile on top of the ice our favorite lunch meat, candy bars, then right beside those goodies would be the liver, and night crawlers we would use to bring in those big ol beautiful catfish nestled at the bottom of Woods Reservoir.
Yep, food for everyone, trying to catch what would be hopefully be food for us later on……that is practicing CATCH and KEEP. You see daddy loved to go fish at night and lure the big cats off the bottom of Woods Reservoir with night crawlers that had a big splat of beech nut chewing tobacco juice dispersed on them from his laughing face. It was quite the scene.
There was this on going competition between me, my brother danny and daddy. Whoever was the the first one to catch a fish, the other 2 had to take the fish off his line, place the captured fish on a stringer, which was this 4ft long metal strip with several metal hooks. The metal hooks would then go through the fish mouth, hook clasped shut and dropped in the water..CAUGHT and KEPT. Then we would bait up the empty hook, that is if the captured fish didn’t swallow it (please no PETA calls) with the bait of choice, excluding the splat of tobacco juice.(daddy usually caught the first fish, he was driving the boat remember). This technique of dropping the fish in the water on the stringer, keeps the fish alive until you get to shore or home where you the “real fun” begins. The fun, where you clean the fish (gut em, skin em, chop heads off and freeze em) Needless to say positioning in the boat was essential, but customary seating saw my brother at the front of the boat, daddy after cruising us to our favorite spot on the lake, would relegate himself to the back, leaving me in the middle nestled in between the constant barrage of verbal jabs, and jokes at who would be the “string man”.
We practiced catch and keep. What if we didn’t? What if we practiced catch and RELEASE?
Does anyone else think that local places of worship practice the same method of catch and keep so people can be CAUGHT AND KEPT? Are we encouraging others to join together and unite in the name of Jesus Christ? Or are we luring folks in with the bait of choice, catching them, placing on a stringer then preparing to skin, gut and placed in a freezer only to serve with or within the walls of the local establishment?
Romans 14:19 NLT So then let us aim for harmony (peace) in the church and build each other up
What if, what if every place of worship was encouraged to find where people are serving and asked not to duplicate any activity that is already up and rolling, but just join others by living out harmony with each other? What if body didn’t mean the local address but really meant THE BODY all over the WORLD and that Jesus being the head and we the various parts and just served HIM by meeting needs in our circle of influence? Could we aim for such a lofty practice?
I believe so, as I am seeing a people do just that. For most reading this you are part of reaching out and lovin out to make Jesus famous in our homes, at work and in our community. You are practicing RELEASE. Christ has captured their heart and others are releasing others to live out their uniqueness and share the GREAT NEWS of CHRIST with their lives!
You see the stringer belongs to Christ and HIS stringer has no clasped hooks…HE has released us (John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free..
love em up!