January 14, 2024

By Bishop Heather Beaty, Susquehanna Conference

Scripture meditation: John 15:1-17

“Daddy, teach me to catch a big fish!” Our pixie girl begged with an upturned face and bright eyes.

Of course, her daddy was pleased to pull her close and teach her how to catch fish. He offered some verbal instructions followed by an invitation, “Watch how I do it, first,” as he casted out and reeled in, casted out and reeled in.

“Your turn, now!” He drew her in again and helped her handle the rod and reel, just as he had moments before. Much to everyone’s surprise, our little learner was the first to pull in a keeper that day, and she (with her daddy’s help) proudly held up the largest catch that anyone would bring to dinner on that fishing trip.

Quite honestly, I am still uncertain about who was more filled with joy that day – our sweet girl or her delighted daddy.

Hundreds of years ago, a man came walking along the shore and called to some weary fishermen: “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately, upon hearing the invitation, these men left their nets to learn a new way of fishing and living.

In the days that followed, Jesus drew twelve disciples close and invested in them with time, instruction, and hands-on teaching about how to live, serve, and bring in fish in the way of the Master Fisherman. He sent them out two-by-two to practice what he was teaching them; they celebrated victories together and processed frustration and failure with the teacher they were growing to love.

A few short years later, when Jesus told them he was leaving, he also entrusted to them the future of his Kingdom work here in the world – assuring them that his Spirit would continue guiding, empowering, and reminding them of everything he had taught them. With the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, these men continued the Kingdom revolution that still impacts lives and history today.

During this Week of Prayer and Fasting, we reflected on a few of the values that Jesus taught and modeled for us – some of our BIC Core Values. These values will never produce fruit, however, unless we continue to walk closely with Jesus, to rely on his Spirit, and to put into practice what he has taught us.

Just like our little girl and these disciples, the only way for us to learn to live like Jesus is to draw close, to listen intently, and to practice what he teaches us. I am convinced that our heavenly Father is just as delighted as any earthly daddy to see his children embrace his ways and experience the joy of living in his likeness.


Father, thank you for your invitation to follow you, to learn from you, and to work with you. Thank you for teaching us and transforming us. Help us to faithfully do what you have taught us to do, and may we know joy with you today. Amen.