Singing through the Year: Fishers of Men
Rise and Follow Me: I'll Make You Worthy
Next Sunday’s Gospel reading comes from Matthew—Jesus begins his ministry and calls several fishermen away from their work, saying, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.”
Such a simple but radically life-altering command.
The hymn I’m singing this week is the appropriately named “Fishers of Men” by Becky Buller. If you already know it, you’ve probably heard Rhonda Vincent’s recording—have a listen here. Warning: it's really catchy!
Like Jesus’ command to the fishermen, Buller’s song seems to be simple. Here’s the chorus:
Rise and follow me,
I’ll make you worthy.
Rise and follow me,
I’ll make you fishers of men.
But that statement “I’ll make you worthy” has a lot to it.
These fisherman—Peter, Andrew, John, and James—went on to change the world. That calling to “fish for people,” and power of God backing it up, is still for us today.
Have you heard that saying, “God doesn’t call the qualified: He qualifies the called”?
Part of me really dislikes cutesy sayings like that. If you could print it on a mug or pillow, I’m probably going to hate it.
However, there’s a lot more here than cutesiness. God DOES give us the power to follow him, no matter who we are.
It's not that seemingly “qualified” people can’t serve God. Think of St. Paul, who was about as educated a person could be. But here's what he, the “Pharisee of the Pharisees,” had to say about qualifications:
Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.
But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise;
God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;
God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God.
He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord. 1 Cor 1:26-31 (not coincidentally, this passage immediately follows this Sunday’s New Testament reading)
So here is our call to sing this week: “Rise and follow me, I’ll make you worthy.”
This hymn isn’t in any hymnals (yet!) as far as I know, but that doesn’t make it any less good. It’s really singable and has a solid text. A congregation would learn it quickly, so check it out if you’re looking for relatively new music to program in a church service.
The lyrics are under copyright—here's a link to the them >>>
The sheet music is available from Becky Buller’s site >>>
Singing Through the Year Project
I'm posting a new hymn each week based on scripture readings for the next Sunday. Each song is enjoyable to sing by yourself (no need for instruments or other folks singing harmony). If you'd like to read more about Singing Through the Year, check out this post >>>