John Day 39: The Miraculous Catch of Fish

Cast Your Net Again by Daniel Bonnell

Gospel of John Reading Plan
Day 39 Reading:
John 21:1-14

Bringing the Word to Life
Say a special prayer for all who are suffering, especially the fishermen, as a result of the gulf oil spill, the earthquake in Haiti, and the earthquakes/typhoons in Japan.

Pastor Lisa’s Journal
Jesus said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. – John 21:6 (NRSV)

Was Peter in the upper room when Jesus appeared to the disciples Easter evening, or had Peter separated himself from the group, ashamed he had denied Jesus three times? Whatever the case, Peter goes back to what he knows, fishing. Jesus seeks him out as he did when he first called Peter from the nets years before. Peter’s eyes are opened at the miraculous catch of fish and his restoration begins.

Like Peter, I am reminded of my calling from Jesus to be a fisher of men and women. I am also reminded of the great diversity and beauty of those who will be God’s people. So many and yet the net of God’s grace and church will not break.

This poem was inspired by Matthew 13:47-50, John 21:1-14, John 12:31-32, Psalms 40:1-3, and the painting Cast Your Net Again by Daniel Bonnell. It was originally written as the sermon for a World Communion Sunday Worship Service. It could be voiced with one or two speakers.

Cast Your Net Again
It had been a long night of fishing
We smelled of bait and salt-
salt from the sea
salt from the sweat
salt from the tears
It was a strange combination of perspiration and desperation
The sun was about to come up, and we hadn’t caught a thing
We were downhearted
Not so much because we hadn’t caught anything,
But because everything changed
He was gone
our leader
our teacher
our friend
our future
We were missing Jesus

He had called us from our nets years before,
Come, follow me…
And that’s what we did
We gave up everything we knew
our nets
our lives
and followed him
“Fishers of men,” he said…
Now he was gone and all that was left was the nets… empty nets…

Children, you have no fish, have you?
                                                                     No, no fish
Cast your net again and you will find some

Cast your net again,
Where had we heard this familiar foolishness
So we cast it… we cast it wide, dragged it deep, swept it around the sea
Suddenly so many fish

The cry goes up with our hope
It is the Lord! It is Jesus!
He sank down to the bottom
Down to the mud and the darkness
Down to the pain and the brokenness
Down to our level

Until he was lifted up- lifted up on a cross
Up went the fists
Up went the curses
Up went the sign
Up went the stares

Down came the hammer
Down came the tears
Down came the blood
Down came the love
Down to our level- buried beneath waves of fear and sin
Buried beneath earth

He did as he promised
Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out
And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself

It is the Lord! It is Jesus!
He is lifted up from the earth
Up from the grave
Up goes the shout
Up goes the sun with the Son

Cast your net again, my Jesus
Cast it wide, drag it deep, sweep it around the sea
Draw us up from the bottom with you
Draw us up from the mud and the darkness
Up from the pain and the brokenness and the selfishness and the loneliness
Draw us up from the fear and the hate and the sin and the death
Draw us up from the bottom with you

Draw us up,
Draw us all, my Jesus
Fisher of men and women, sober and addicted, poor and prosperous, infant and aged
Draw us up, Draw us all, my Jesus
Healthy and ill, free and imprisoned, questioning and confident
Draw us up, Draw us all
Fisher of nations and galaxies

I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.

Cast your net again into the sea of humanity
Cast it wide, drag it deep, sweep it around the sea
Draw us up
Draw us in
We are caught in your saving embrace

“Now follow me,” says Jesus.
“Come, cast the net
Cast the net again and again and again and we will find some more
Cast it wide, drag it deep, sweep it around the sea
So many, so different, so beautiful
Use all your strength to bring them in
Have no fear, the net will not break.”

© 2009, revised 2011 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.


For more information on the Gospel of John Reading Plan, click here

For more information on the art, scripture translation and the use of this post in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

3 thoughts on “John Day 39: The Miraculous Catch of Fish

  1. Thanks for the post. We are all enormously blessed by your blog. I love the poem. Please pray for my hometown in east TN as it has been devastated by the recent tornadoes. Thanks for all you do!

    • Thanks for the encouragement Brett. Let’s pray:

      Jesus, we see you calming storms- storm tossed seas and stormy lives. Pour forth your power again on these most recent storm victims. Grant the rescue workers skill and favor as they search for and save those who are trapped. Bring together communities for provision and rebuilding. Bring healing to bodies and minds and businesses broken by these events. You are the Prince of Peace. You are strong to save. Our hope and trust is in you. Amen.

  2. This passage is very encouraging it let’s me know the lord will fill your need in his time all We need to do is cast our cares on the other side his right side.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s